San Diego’s AIS Rides Out Power Outage

San Diego’s leading data center service provider said its facilities remained online during a massive power outage Thursday that affected much of Southern California. The massive outage has been largely resolved as of Friday morning, local officials said.

“All of our data centers are up, and on generator power,” said Tim Caulfield, CEO of American Internet Services (AIS), which operates three data centers in San Diego. “There have been no issues, and no impact on customer services.”

Reached Thursday night, Caulfield said the company was preparing for an outage lasting 24 to 48 hours.

“Our biggest concern now is a multi-day event where we would need to refuel,” said Caulfield. “Obviously, (fuel deliveries) are being diverted to critical infrastructure like hospitals. We’re confident in our fuel deliveries, but you’re never totally comfortable until the truck is outside the building. We’re preparing for a long event.”

Power was restored early Friday for 1.4 million customers of San Diego Electric & Gas. The outage, which began Thursday afternoon, was triggered when a 500-kilovolt high-voltage line from Arizona to California went out, according to SignOn San Diego. That outage then knocked the San Onofre nuclear power plant offline. Those are the two major power sources for the region.

“Essentially all lines were severed into San Diego County,” said San Diego Gas and Electricity President Michael Niggli , who said about 3 million people in the county were affected by the massive power outage.

ABC News reported that the outage was triggered when the North Gila-Hassayampa 500 kV transmission line near Yuma, Ariz. was tripped offline when a single Arizona Power Service employee was carrying out a procedure in the North Gila substation. Typically, in such an instance, the outage would be isolated to the Yuma area. The investigation is now focusing on the reason that did not occur in this case, APS said Thursday.

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About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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