7:04 P.M. OCT. 30 UPDATE: University limits electricity consumption to critical services only

Oct. 30, 2012 7:04 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: 

Academic Aaron Burr Hall Alexander Hall Architecture Building Bendheim Center For Finance Chancellor Green Class of 1879 Hall Corwin Hall Dickinson Hall Dodge Hall East Pyne Building Eno Hall Fine Hall Fisher and Bendheim Halls Friend Center Jones Hall Lewis Library Marx Hall McCosh Hall McDonnell Hall Murray Theatre Nassau Street, 185 Robertson Hall Scheide Caldwell House Sherrerd Hall Stanhope Hall Von Neumann Hall Wallace Hall Woolworth Music Center   Athletics Caldwell Field House Class of 1952 Stadium Jadwin Gymnasium Princeton Stadium   Administration Chapel Clio Hall Dillon Court East Dillon Court West Nassau Hall West College Whig Hall

The following buildings have no power and restoration depends on the public electricity company:
Alexander Road, 180 Alexander Road, 294 Alexander Road, 330 Alexander Road, 350 Alexander Road, 693 Alexander Road, 755 Broadmead, 171 College Road West, 26   Academic Bobst Hall Ivy Lane, 5   Residential Butler Apartments Dean Mathey Apartments Ferris Thompson Apartments Lawrence Apartments Prospect Avenue, 120 Prospect Avenue, 185 Stanworth Apartments   Laboratories Elementary Particles Lab Frick Chemistry Laboratory   Athletics Shea Rowing Center