Aug. 29 to
Sept. 2, 2002
ConJosé and the California Energy Crisis
Several people have asked us about the likely impact of the current energy crisis on ConJosé. The good news is that things are slowly getting back under control. Three new power stations began operations recently and more are expected to be online by next summer. Also the current situation is in part a result of a dry winter leading to a shortage of hydroelectric power. Average snowfall this winter would mean a substantial improvement to the situation in 2002.
However, should the worst happen, our facilities do have procedures in place. Both the Convention Center and the Civic Auditorium have back-up generators that activate during power outages. Additionally, they are getting at least 30 minutes advance notice of rolling blackouts, which will give us time to warn people should a blackout be scheduled. (For Bay Area residents, the Convention Center is currently in Rotating Outage Block 8b.)
The Convention Centers backup generator will provide sufficient emergency lighting in the Exhibit Hall that an evacuation will not be necessary. The generators will not power the display lights in the Art Show or the Dealers Room, and these areas may be closed in the event of a rolling blackout. Many of the meeting rooms will have sufficient ambient lighting from windows to not be affected (lighting-wise) by an outage.
In the event of a power outage in the Civic Auditorium, the building would be evacuated. The emergency generator provides enough lighting for a safe evacuation, but not enough to sustain a performance. Additionally, the generator will run for about 30 minutes, and it is too dark in that building for people to remain without any power. However, the Civic Auditorium is only scheduled for use during the evening when the likelihood of blackouts is lower than during the day.
In summary, we are very happy with the back-up and safety arrangements that our facilities have in place. No one can make a firm assessment of the likelihood of blackouts until next spring, but should they happen we are confident that disruption to the convention will be minimal.
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