October 26-28, 2019 Campus Power Outage


10/28/19 -- 4:30 PM


PG&E has notified the campus that it will not be subject to a further PSPS outage during the 10/29-30 wind event.

Therefore the good news that classes and normal campus operations will resume on full PG&E power on Tuesday morning, October 29.  Buildings will remain locked until full PG&E power is restored - please continue to remain off campus until Tuesday morning.  

Faculty with research at LBNL please visit http://status.lbl.gov for Lab-specific status updates.

The campus will continue to monitor air quality due to smoke from Sonoma county and more local wildfires, and will send out new advisories if quality deteriorates.

Thank you everyone for your patience and cooperation during the outage period!

10/28/19 -- 2:00 PM

The campus is awaiting news from PG&E to see whether we will be impacted by another PSPS alert for the next wind event forecast for Tuesday/Wednesday.  Campus buildings, including many dorms and the campus data center continue to run on power from the campus co-generation plant to ensure basic levels of continuity.  Campus buildings remain closed. Moffitt Library is open to students. Continue to watch for further updates coming later this afternoon.

The Savio cluster is back online after a planned outage this morning.  Users should monitor the Research IT website and monitor email for updates on downtime once the campus is able to transition back to full PG&E power.

Researchers and programs should be making contingency plans for meetings and events planned on-campus through Friday, should campus buildings remain closed (with campus co-generated power remaining on).  Information about classes will be coming later this afternoon.  

Air quality degraded earlier in the day today, but has since improved, and is no longer in an ‘unhealthy’ range.  The campus will send out new alerts if quality degrades. Visit the Tang Center website for tips on dealing with unhealthy air.

10/28/19 -- 9:30 AM

An update from campus leadership is expected by noon today.

10/27/19 – 4:15 PM

Moffitt Library will be open to students on Monday, 10/28.  All other buildings on the main campus will remain closed. See further updates below.

Note: Another round of high winds is forecast for Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, 10/29-30. No information is available yet on potential impact to campus, but researchers and programs should think through contingency plans for research, meetings and events planned on campus during the week, should campus buildings remain closed (with campus co-generated power remaining on).

10/27/19 -- 11:00 AM

A message was sent to campus at 10:45 AM Sunday:  Daytime classes on Monday 10/28 have been canceled.  Please see Berkeley News for more information.

The main Berkeley campus is running on power from the campus co-generation plant to sustain power to sensitive research and animal care. All employees and students are asked to remain off the main campus until the outage is over.  

  • If you need access to a campus building to address a time- or power-sensitive research need, please contact your building/facility manager.  See below for contacts for animal care, and additional resources.

  • Note that the Savio HPC cluster will be shut down at 6 AM on Monday, 10/28 for previously scheduled maintenance.  Make sure all jobs are scheduled to end prior to the shutdown. See http://research-it.berkeley.edu/services/high-performance-computing/status-and-announcements for more information.

Please read down for additional updates and stay tuned to local radio for updates on Sonoma and Carquinez-area fires.

Our thoughts are with employees and students whose homes may be impacted by the fires and outages.  Stay safe everyone!

10/26/19 -- 4:00 PM

The campus successfully made the transition to running on power generated by the campus' co-generation power plant earlier this afternoon.  Buildings are locked and indoor events have been moved or rescheduled. All employees and students are asked to remain off-campus for the duration of the outage, to ensure that current (reduced) power usage levels can be maintained, and available power can be reserved to sustain student housing/dining and critical research infrastructure.

For campus events scheduled through Monday, please check event websites or with event coordinators for status and event location updates.

A high wind advisory and red flag warning are in place through 11 AM on Monday, 10/28.  Decisions on Monday 10/28 classes and campus operations will be made on Sunday morning.  Please check Berkeley News and sign up for Nixle alerts on your phone to receive updates.

See additional details and updates lower down on this page.

PG&E will open a resource center on Sunday for the general community in the south parking lot on the Clark Kerr Campus. It will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. People can obtain water, snacks, flashlights and LED lights, charge phones and get up-to-date information on outages.  Berkeley public libraries are also open for charging - see https://www.cityofberkeley.info/psps/ for hours and locations.

Stay safe, and thank you to everyone for your cooperation during this outage period!

10/26/19 -- 12:00 PM

The campus is currently transitioning to co-generation power, to ensure continuity when PG&E power to the campus is cut.  All building occupants are asked to leave buildings effective now, turning off lights, printers and closing fume hoods and securing hazardous materials before departing.  

Please review updated information on Research Services, below.

10/25/19 -- 8:00 PM

We have been informed that PG&E will be cutting power to the campus in the afternoon of Saturday, October 26.  The campus will move to our limited, back-up, co-generation plant starting at 12 p.m./noon Saturday.  Expect a campus update on Saturday afternoon.

Because the co-generation power will be targeted to critical needs, most buildings will be locked and faculty, staff, and students are asked to remain off-campus.  If you have a critical research sustainability need, and must enter the building, please contact your building/facility manager.  For animal care, please contact Kayla Lynch.  Please be prepared to articulate your specific research need.  

Thank you for your patience and partnership.  Stay updated through Nixle and Berkeley News.

10/25/19 -- 10:30 AM

Due to forecasted high winds and low humidity, PG&E has informed the Berkeley campus of plans to disconnect the power supply to our campus beginning Saturday evening, October 26.  There is no information on duration at this time. Additional updates will be posted here and on the UC Berkeley campus News page as it becomes available.  Please sign up for Nixle alerts.

Information on Research Services during the Outage

Information last updated 4PM 10/26/19

Plan to Sustain Basic Campus Power: Restricted Building Access

The campus intends to sustain basic building and research/student support during the planned PG&E outage event using the campus co-generation power plant, as was successfully accomplished during the outage two weeks ago.  In order not to overload the co-gen power capacity, employees and students are asked to avoid campus for the duration of the outage, to ensure that the limited available power can be sustained to our research enterprise, student residence halls and dining facilities.  

Faculty with research at LBNL please visit http://status.lbl.gov for status updates. LBNL’s response to the outage will differ from the UC Berkeley campus response, as LBNL does not have a co-generation power facility.

Where equipment can be powered down, please make plans to do so, to help preserve power for critical needs across the campus.  

Access to buildings will be limited to those whose presence is critical to lab operations (such as topping off cryogens in storage units or transferring cells to fresh media, and providing time-sensitive care to animals).  Researchers with critical access needs are asked to contact their building manager and/or Animal Care for building entry. Please be prepared to share the research need you are seeking to address. We understand that these are stressful situations, and appreciate everyone’s partnership.  More information will be updated here on weekend contact information as it is confirmed.  Decisions about Monday classes and events will be made by campus leadership on Sunday 10/27.

Scheduled Campus Events

Update as of 5 pm 10/25/19:  Given best information about the power outage and to manage load on limited co-generation power, campus leadership made the difficult decision that all indoor events and activities that are scheduled to take place on campus on Saturday afternoon and evening and all day Sunday must be canceled.  Outdoor activities at the Greek Theatre, Lower Sproul Plaza, and a select other venues may proceed; please contact event websites for updates.

Note that city streets around the campus may lose power after 5 PM on Saturday 10/26.  Some parking lots may be closed.  Please check event websites and/or contact event coordinators before traveling to weekend events. 

Research Continuity

If your unit has critical research or research infrastructure that requires power (freezers, critical servers) please make sure your building manager is aware. Harry Stark (Stanley Hall, LKS Building Manager & VCRO Facilities) will be coordinating with building managers to assist in movement of freezers, etc. as needed.  

Where equipment and hazardous research can be powered down, please do so before 12:00 noon on Saturday 10/26.  Ensure caps are safely on chemicals and fume hood sashes are closed before leaving for the weekend. 

Please review phone trees and ensure that critical staff/students have each others’ contact information. 

Please see the FAQ from EH&S with additional tips and important information on what to consider before shutdown, what to do while the power is out, re-occupancy after power is back on, and other emergency planning tips.  

Following are key points provided in the fact sheet:

  • Don’t go to in labs unless necessary
  • Don’t work with hazardous materials while the ventilation is down
  • Ensure caps are safely on chemicals and fume hood sashes are closed
  • Ensure experiments are stabilized

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact EH&S by emailing ehs@berkeley.edu or calling (510) 642-3073. 

Animal Care

PIs and research groups with animals: please review the message sent to all PIs from OLAC Director Greg Lawson Friday morning.  Report all animal issues to “3-VETS” (510) 643-8387. 

OLAC staff will report as per usual weekend/holiday coverage.  They will be working Sat/Sun from 6am-12pm. On-Call Supervisor and Vets will be available in the event we may need to relocate some animals.  

All bottles, carboys and water pouches will be filled and made available by the end of business Friday; All cages will be washed and prepared for use.

All animals will be accessed (including PI Maintained), cages will only be opened/changed if excessive moisture is present, water needs to be replaced, or food added

Large machines: Tunnel washers, rack washers, autoclaves will be shut down the evening of 10/25 and only powered up if absolutely need be during this power outage. 

For urgent/emerging issues or research-critical building access, please contact Kayla Lynch on Saturday 10/26 and Greg Lawson on Sunday 10/27.

IT / High Performance Compute - Savio Cluster

Campus IT anticipates that all campus enterprise systems, including wifi and telephone service, will be up and running during the outage window, on campus co-generation power.  If you are in a building that is not powered by the campus, wifi and phone access will go down if PG&E cuts power to the building.

Research IT has confirmed that the Savio HPC cluster will be operational through Monday, 10/28 at 6:00 AM, at which time the cluster will go offline for scheduled maintenance.  The 10/28 6 AM outage will happen regardless of PG&E or campus power status.  Please schedule all jobs to close down by this time. 

Please see the Research IT status page at  for more information, and contact Savio staff at brc-hpc-help@berkeley.edu for further questions.

More information and updates about campus systems status can be found at: http://systemstatus.berkeley.edu/ and https://technology.berkeley.edu/pge-outage/faqs.

VPN Connections

The new GlobalProtect VPN service will remain up.   Watch the IST website for more details and other updates.

Parking & Transportation

Please check for updates on the Parking & Transportation power outage web page.

RAC - Sponsored Projects/OPHS/OACU

RAC, SPO, OPHS and OACU offices are open today, Monday, 10/28.


This is a stressful time for all of us.  Please be kind to each other and stay tuned to Nixle and Berkeley News.

Thank you!