7:04 P.M. OCT. 30 UPDATE: University limits electricity consumption to critical services only
Posted October 30, 2012; 07:04 p.m.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, most buildings on campus are running on limited power from the University’s cogeneration plant, and it is not clear when normal power supply from the public grid will resume.
Because of the limited electric power, the University will temporarily close all administrative buildings and most academic and athletic facilities. Access to laboratories will be strictly limited through at least Wednesday, Oct. 31. Decisions about when the University will be fully open will be made on a day-to-day basis. Questions or concerns about individual buildings should be directed to the Facilities Service Center, (609) 258-8000.
"Because of widespread outages on the grid, we are now wholly dependent on our cogeneration plant," Provost Christopher Eisgruber wrote in an email to department chairs and academic managers. "Its capacity is limited. We therefore need to devote that power to critical functions as much as possible (such as, for example, providing heat for the students on campus). To do so, we must limit all other uses as much as possible.
"We have therefore closed some academic buildings. Even if buildings are open, we need faculty members and researchers to stay home if at all possible: every time somebody starts another machine, it taxes our electrical network. I’m hoping that you will join me in entreating faculty members, researchers and staff to stay home until we can supply more electricity to the campus," Eisgruber said.
The University’s cogeneration facility is known as such because it generates electricity from a gas turbine that burns natural gas or diesel, and recovers the exhaust from the turbine to also heat water and make steam. Through cogeneration and other waste heat recovery, the efficiency of Princeton’s plant is 80 percent, compared with 25-45 percent efficiency for a typical utility energy plant.
Princeton’s cogeneration plant can generate 13 megawatts of electricity, which is the University’s average electricity consumption but less than the maximum demand when all buildings are fully operational, including heating and cooling systems. Thus, the limited power from the cogeneration plant is being used to run critical operations.
Power to University buildings that are not connected to the University's cogeneration system, including Stanworth Apartments and Butler Apartments, will be restored when the public electricity supply is back up.
The following buildings will be powered down:
The following buildings have no power and restoration depends on the public electricity company: