Electricity at UBC is provided primarily by BC Hydro via two transmission lines through Pacific Spirit Park. The BC Hydro lines connect to two UBC-owned sub-stations.
The North Campus sub-station distributes power to all the academic and student housing facilities North of 16th avenue. The South Campus sub-station provides electricity to all the academic research buildings South of 16th avenue including TRIUMF, one of the world’s leading subatomic physics laboratories. BC Hydro provides power to all the market housing on campus.
The North Campus power distribution network is a dual radial system. This system includes 14 normal feeder circuits and three standby feeder circuits. One standby circuit is used to provide backup (or N-1 redundancy) for up to six normal circuits. The standby circuits are only used during maintenance or upgrade activities. Manually operated isolating switches within each major building on the North Campus are used to select which feeder circuit will supply its power.
The South Campus power distribution network is an open loop (or ring) system. This system has one feeder circuit, which starts from the substation circuit breaker and loops between all buildings on the South Campus. From the last building, the feeder circuit loops back to the substation, but connects to a separate circuit breaker. One building in this loop is selected as the “open point”, using manually operated isolating switches. The open loop system allows buildings to receive power from either circuit.