August 28, 2018
Writer: Emma Hassell
Last weekend and into Monday, BYU-Idaho underwent a series of planned power outages. Facilities Management Operation Director Kyle Williams says it’s unusual for something like this to happen, but not unusual for campus maintenance.
“The utility company usually doesn’t ask for an outage,” he said. “It is normal for us to do maintenance on our systems.”
Rocky Mountain Power requested a power outage on campus in order to do some maintenance work. The power company installed a line into the substation. In order to do this, they had to work under high voltage lines that come into the university’s property. To do the work safely, they had to shut off the 69,000 volt lines and work when there was daylight.
Working with the company, BYU-Idaho had to decide when the best time to do this would be. Williams explained the process of making that decision.
“The process means we have to choose a time that is least impactful to the university,” Williams said.
Williams also explained that the university and the IT department took advantage of the outage to do internal work and maintenance that can only be done when there is no power. They worked with other university departments to make sure everyone knew about the outage.
The outage completely disconnected the university with those outside the university, so it had an impact not only on those on campus, but those who needed to access online systems as well.
Williams explained that BYU-Idaho President Henry J. Eyring was very generous about the timing and needs of the outage.
“President has been really sympathetic with our work,” he said. “Allowing us to do it during the least impactful times but also knowing that it impacts the greater parts of campus. He has been very generous to us.”
Rocky Mountain Power planned to work on campus for 12 hours.
All of campus was without power at 1:00 PM MST on Monday.
All systems were back up and running the following day.
For more information, call Facilities Management at 208-496-2500.