The University must be prepared for disconnection of electricity
A considerable reduction in the availability of electricity is expected this winter. If the electricity available is less than the demand for electricity, this results in what is known as a power shortfall. This could lead to short power cuts at the University.
There is now a Vice-Chancellor’s decision that clarifies duties and responsibilities within the University in the event of a power shortfall and if the electricity supply is disconnected for a short time.
There are levels that staff members need to know:
Overstretched energy system (9-18 December)
Kraftringen, the University’s electricity provider, has issued a statement urging reduced use of electricity now, due to an overstretched energy system (not power shortfall) between 9 and18 December. During this period there is a considerable risk of high electricity prices and peak use of the power grid. It is therefore important that we all help to save electricity.
Everyone at Lund University is urged to save as much electricity as possible and plan for power shortfalls and possible disconnection due to the increased risk during this period. The critical times are around 8:00-11:00 in the morning and 17:00-19:00 in the evening. If we flatten the demand curve, we reduce the risk of disconnection.
In the event of electricity being disconnected, all operational managers are to ensure that buildings and operations are protected and that installations, alarm systems and operations work again after reconnection of the electricity supply.
Power shortfall warning (measures in accordance with the Vice-Chancellor’s decision)
When the risk of a power shortfall increases, Svenska kraftnät issues a warning and urges the public and all electricity consumers to reduce their electricity usage. If a sufficient number and large-scale electricity users reduce their electricity consumption, it reduces the risk of a disconnection being required. If Svenska kraftnät issues a warning that a power shortfall may arise, the organisational units at Lund University are to reduce their consumption as much as possible. Prior to a more acute power shortfall arising, electricity prices will be very high.
Research facilities and laboratory operations are to significantly reduce their energy consumption and electricity usage, e.g. by turning off equipment, minimising forced ventilation and reducing energy usage for heating and/or district cooling of premises wherever possible.
A power shortfall warning will be issued via email to all staff members and published on the Staff Pages. Once the power shortfall warning has been issued, all staff members are to note that a possible power cut may occur in the next few days. A power cut can occur without advance warning.
In the event of a power shortfall warning, operational managers also need to prepare for a possible disconnection of electricity in the near future. If a disconnection occurs, organisational units have a responsibility to protect and supervise their buildings and operations, and to ensure that installations, alarm systems and operations work again after reconnection of the electricity supply.
Teaching is to continue whenever possible and is not to be subjected to any more negative impacts than necessary.
In the event of a power cut/ disconnection
No information will be sent out when this occurs as decisions on disconnection are taken at very short notice. If a power cut occurs. All staff members who do not have a task according to the relevant continuity plan are to leave their workplaces as soon as possible. Take your personal belongings, mobile phone and computer with you. One reason why it is important to leave as soon as possible is that fire safety systems do not work if there is a power cut.
All organisational units are to have a continuity plan, which now starts to apply. All staff members are to know what applies for their organisational unit in the event of a power cut.
As no one knows how long any power cut will last, or whether it will be recurring (rolling disconnections, for example), staff members who do not have a task according to the continuity plan are to go home. If working from home is not possible because of power cuts there, staff members are exempt from work, on full pay.
Teaching at premises where a power cut occurs is to be halted and all students at these premises will be told to leave the building.
Read more: Vice-Chancellor’s decision in the event of power shortfalls and short disconnections (in Swedish).
Vice-Chancellor’s decision that all organisational units are to be prepared
A continuity plan for each organisational unit is to be drawn up and communicated to the unit’s staff members. Every operational manager is to ensure that energy and electricity use is reduced and assess how this can be done in the best possible way. Part of this responsibility is to ensure that equipment of particular importance, such as animal facilities and cooling plants are not negatively affected.
The following applies to all organisational units:
- Research facilities and laboratory operations are to significantly reduce their energy consumption and electricity usage, e.g. by turning off equipment, minimising forced ventilation and reducing energy usage for heating and/or district cooling of premises wherever possible. The MAX IV Laboratory is to shut down its accelerators, storage rings and beamlines.
- Organisational units and buildings without laboratory operations are also to reduce electricity usage.
- Teaching is to continue whenever possible and is not to be subjected to any more negative impacts than necessary.
The electricity transmission system operator, Svenska kraftnät, is responsible for ensuring that the national balance between electricity production and consumption is maintained. If the consumption of electricity exceeds the available electricity, the power grid may be hit by what is known as a power shortfall. To avoid this, electricity usage can be manually disconnected for chosen sectors in order to protect the power grid.
Svenska kraftnät is responsible for identifying electricity users providing vital societal functions so that in the event of a shortfall, priority users have been identified. A process called “Styrel” – directing electricity to prioritised consumers – is used. When a shortfall occurs in the power grid, disconnections may affect those who have not been deemed to be providing vital societal functions (i.e. important for life, wellbeing and the functioning of society). The University is not considered a priority in the event of an enforced disconnection.
The risk of a power shortfall is identified with a day or so’s notice, while disconnection occurs with only 15 minutes’ notice from Svenska kraftnät to the electricity companies. Before a more acute shortfall, electricity prices will be very high.
Estates manager, Head of division, LU Estates
+46 46 222 30 31
asa [dot] bergenudd [at] bygg [dot] lu [dot] se