FAIRBANKS- The UAF power plant was seen smoking today during a power outage leaving some to think it was on fire. The plant was not on fire, but the boilers were malfunctioning and releasing excess coal smoke. Reports from UAF say, an electrical contractor accidentally disconnected the plant from the electrical grid and knocked the boilers offline. The coal was left smoldering without the fans to help burn away the excess smoke. The power was out on campus for approximately one hour.
Although human error seems to be the cause of today's outage, university officials say the power plant is reaching the end of its designed usefulness. They are receiving support from The Fairbanks North Star Borough to build a new power plant. The borough assembly added the university project to its 2014 legislative priority list which carries a $200 million price tag. UAF officials say the aging power plant has been in use for nearly 50 years.