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Electrical Distribution

Our Services

Our Electrical Distribution division services the main electrical distribution systems and auxiliary equipment at the following locations:

  • The university’s main campus
  • Off-campus student housing
  • Pickle Research Campus
  • Whitaker Fields

The electrical networks include all of the equipment from the Power Plant or incoming power supply to each building’s main power switchgear. The electrical systems include:

  • More than 60,000 ft of underground duct bank
  • More than 30,000 ft of overhead line
  • More than 130 double-ended main power stations

The distribution voltage to each individual building’s power station is done at:

  • 12,000 volts
  • 4,160 volts (the voltage is then stepped down at the building where it is used)

We service the following auxiliary and additional equipment:

  • Emergency standby electrical systems
  • Medium-voltage metal-clad switchgear
  • Low-voltage distribution metal-enclosed switchgear
  • Protective devices and controls
  • Revenue metering and monitoring
  • Area and sports lighting

Frequently Asked Questions

How many standby sources are available for power outages?

Two levels of standby power are provided. First, our power generation is backed 100% by Austin Energy standby power via the Harris Substation on campus. Secondly, more than 23 standby, gas driven generators, supplying about 6 megawatts of load, are connected to the buildings’ electrical networks to furnish an alternate source of power should the normal system and the Austin Energy standby system be lost.

How many campus wide outages has the University suffered?

The campus has suffered only four campus-wide outages in more than 35 years.

Are any of the overhead electrical lines utilized on campus?

No, there are no overhead distribution lines utilized on the main campus or Pickle Research Campus.

What are the typical response times by Electrical Distribution for power outages?

Typical response times for disturbances or outages are 15 minutes, (6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday – Friday), and 30 minutes after hours.