SUNY Schenectady has another power outage as transformer work finished

Campus closed for third time since late May
The exterior of Schenectady SCCC is pictured.
The exterior of Schenectady SCCC is pictured.

SCHENECTADY — The SUNY Schenectady County Community College campus Monday was hit with its third power outage in the past month as the college completed work on establishing a new site for its electrical power transformer.

Over the past month, the school conducted a $400,000 project to move its central transformer location from an underground vault – long deemed a flood risk – to a new site, Patrick Ryan, the college’s vice president for administration, said in an interview Monday afternoon. As part of theproject the college was hooking up new transformers.

As crews established the new site between Stockade and Begley halls, working with a contractor and National Grid, the college relied on a rented temporary generator to power its operations. But that temporary generator has struggled to keep the campus completely powered over the past few weeks, causing multiple power outages that have disrupted the campus, including outages caused by tree pollen clogging the generator.

The college closed campus on June 19 due to a power outage; the campus was also closed for a period of time in late May as a result of outages with the temporary generator. College officials waited until the end of the spring semester to complete the project, minimizing the disruption caused by the recurring outages this month.

The campus had to be closed down on Monday too after the transition from using the generator to relying on the school’s new transformer system took longer than expected, Ryan said. The college had planned to have the new transformers up and running by 5 a.m. Monday, but technical difficulties pushed that finish time to shortly after 2 p.m. Ryan said as of 2:15 p.m. Monday, the college was using its new transformer system to power the main campus and was no longer using the temporary generator.

Ryan said campus would be back to regular operations on Tuesday. A new student orientation is scheduled for June 28 and summer classes begin July 8.

“We are on with the new generators,” Ryan said a few minutes after he had received word that the new transformers were up and running.

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