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Stanford University was forced to cancel summer classes for a power outage that could continue to plague the school in the days ahead.
“There is no change to the status of the power outage on campus,” the university said on Twitter Wednesday. “PG&E has not provided an estimated time of power restoration, due to damage to their equipment located in the fire area near Emerald Hills.”
The outage, which started early Tuesday, has forced employees to work from home and plunged much of the campus into darkness Tuesday evening. Students who live in summer dorms without generators were unable to use electronic devices, while a dining area providing cold drinks, snacks, and electricity was opened to students until 3 a.m. as a form of respite for those without power, according to reporting from the Stanford Daily.
Crews were still working to put out the Edgewood fire, which has caused evacuations in the Emerald Hills, Calif. area and left thousands without power, according to SF Gate.
Power grid operators in the area were still unsure when power would be restored to campus.
The outages come as electric grid operators from across the country have increasingly warned that power outages could become more commonplace as the weather warms up, a problem that has plagued California for years but is anticipated to spread to areas of the south and Midwest.
At issue is a hasty switch to renewable energy sources such as wind and solar, which some experts say does not have the capacity to replace traditional sources of energy that have seen plants close at high speeds in recent years.
“I am concerned about it,” MISO Chief Executive John Bear told the Wall Street Journal in a report last month. “As we move forward, we need to know that when you put a solar panel or a wind turbine up, it’s not the same as a thermal resource.”
Joe Trotter, the Energy, Environment, and Agriculture Task Force Director for the American Legislative Exchange Council, told Fox News last month that such outages will continue to be a problem as long as leaders prioritize long term goals over short term repercussions.
“Our leaders need to be real cognizant of the day-to-day impact,” Trotter said. “It’s great to look at the future, but the present has a huge impact on their constituencies.”