VIU Nanaimo Campus Looking West

West Campus Electrical Upgrade

**Note: Content on this page is updated regularly as more details are available **


Scheduled Power Shut-downs:

Date & Time

Building #

Shut-down Type


Friday, Jan. 24th

(Nightshift -starting 10pm)

Minor Power Shut-down (only applies to equipment on the Emergency Power Grid)

193, 200, 205, 300, 305, 310, 315++, 320, 325, 330, 335**, 340/45, 355, 356, 359, 360, 370, 373, 375, 376, 380, 385, 391.





West Campus Electrical Grid - Map:

(This map delineates the extents of the electrical grid affected by this project)


FAQ's on power shut-downs:

  • Q: During power shut-downs, will I still be able to login and do work on Network Drives, Desire2Learn and Administrative Systems etc. (via VIU's IT Network)?
  • A: The general IT Network including VIU Website, Servers, web-based programs and Administrative Systems will remain functional throughout power shut-downs. This includes both wired and wireless connections.
  • Q: During power shut-downs, will VIU's phone system still be operational?
  • A: Yes, VIU's phone system will remain functional.
  • Q: How will the power shut-downs on the EMERGENCY Power Grid affect me?
  • A: The Emergency Power Grid only powers a small number of critical electrical loads. These include items such as emergency lighting, some Fire Alarm Systems, Animal Habitats, Freezers and other similar items. Work on this grid is being done on nightshifts, and accommodations have been made for critical loads where necessary.
  • Q: The Library Info Commons (Bldg.305) are normally open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, year-round - will they be closed during the January 24th shut-down?
  • A: No, the Library Info Commons will remain open.
  • Q: I have questions or concerns about how the power shut downs will affect my area, who can I contact to discuss this?
  • A: Please contact Facilties Services at Local 6500; your query will be answered, or redirected to the appropriate personnel.


Project Overview:

This project was identified as part of Facilities Services and Campus Development's (FSCD) renewal plan as well as a facilities condition audit performed in 2010 by the Ministry of Advanced Education. This year (2013/14) the Ministry announced the provision of funding to replace a major portion of electrical infrastructure serving West Campus. FSCD welcomes this opportunity to improve the safety and reliability of our normal and back-up power systems.


What will be replaced?

West Campus Electrical Service:

The main high-voltage distribution centre, located in Building 305 will receive a major retrofit. This is where power from BC Hydro is transformed to lower voltages and distributed to Buildings 193-395 (with exception of Bldgs. 250, 255 & 350).

West Campus Emergency Generators:

The existing antiquated emergency power generator at Bldg.355 will be removed and replaced with two new, state-of-the art, higher capacity generators located at:

  • Parking Lot "N" Service Building (between fire lane & parking lot), serving the Central Campus (Bldgs.200-356)
  • Building 373 (CSR), serving the West Campus (Bldgs.359+)

Other infrastructure:

New panels will be installed in various buildings across the West Campus, as well as new underground cables, and other infrastructure. This will improve safety, modernize infrastructure and increase potential capacity for future growth.


Why will it be replaced?

VIU's West Campus Electrical grid is antiquated and somewhat "ad-hoc" in its design. Some equipment is in poor condition and at the end of its useful life, thus increasing risk of failure to key services to the VIU Community.

This upgrade will replace old equipment with latest technology and organize the power service in a manner that is consistent and logical, with consideration given to future growth on campus. Greater reliability, safety and capacity will be achieved for both the normal and emergency power grids. Detailed metering will be installed for remote monitoring, targeting and reporting to improve energy efficiency on campus.


Contact Information:

VIU Project Manager:
Drew Taylor
  250.740.6539 (or local 6539)

For general information, please contact Facilities Services and Campus Development at local 6500 (or 250.740.6500), or


Updated 03-January-2014

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