An electrical fault knocked power offline at the University of Alaska Fairbanks for about an hour Tuesday morning and created smoky conditions on lower campus.
The fault happened at about 9 a.m., as an electrical contractor was working on upgrades at the campus’ new switch house, which is near the main plant building. The fault disconnected campus from the electrical grid and, at the same time, knocked all of the boilers in the plant offline. The lack of electricity to power the fans at the plant also caused the fires in the coal boilers to smolder, which created smoke in the area.
Fire department crews responded to the plant after members of the public reported a fire there, but did not find a fire at the building. It does not appear that the plant was damaged during the outage, nor were there any injuries as a result of the fault.
Power plant crews reconnected campus to the Golden Valley Electric Association feeder and began restoring power to campus shortly after 9:30 a.m. By 10 a.m., power had been fully restored and crews were working to restart the main boilers at the plant.