Power Forward

Electrical Distribution System Upgrade

NC State is amid a multi-year, multi-phase project to upgrade the electric distribution system on Central Campus and North Campus. As one of the biggest public research universities in North America, we depend on a steady, secure supply of power to every building, from student residence halls to cutting-edge research labs. The project will organize the system to reduce operational risk, enhance reliability, improve safety and position campus for future growth.

This project will ensure that NC State’s power supply is:


Revamped infrastructure will reduce risks for the maintenance workers who keep our lights on and our labs humming.


Overhauling the system will ensure NC State’s energy independence — and help campus stand up to storms or freezing temperatures.


Smarter technology will allow our grid to protect itself against threats, isolate faults and minimize outages and disruption on campus.


The new system will have 50% more electrical capacity, giving our university room to grow and thrive in the decades ahead.

Traffic Impacts

There will be traffic impacts as project-related construction moves throughout campus. You can also join a listserv to receive communication about traffic impacts.

Planned Power Outages

There will be planned power outages to transition buildings onto the new power grid as construction moves throughout campus.

Project Status

The solid buildings have been converted to the new electrical system, and the solid lines are active new circuits. The cross-hatch buildings are pending transition to the new system, and the dashed lines are pending circuits.

About The Project

Central Campus and North Campus have some of NC State’s most historic buildings and infrastructure. Some of the underground electrical infrastructure is nearly 60 years old, leaving it more susceptible to failure and a safety challenge for maintenance workers. 

This project will install new duct bank, conduit, cables and switches that will mitigate future unplanned outages. To improve reliability of electricity service on North and Central campuses, this project has been prioritized and funded by the university.

Construction on the project began in 2018 and is expected to continue through 2025. Construction will be coordinated with building occupants to minimize disruption to campus.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Power Forward project?

Power Forward is a multiyear, multiphase project to upgrade the electrical distribution system on Central Campus and North Campus at NC State University. As one of the largest public research universities in North America, NC State depends on a steady, secure supply of power to every building, from residence halls to research labs. This project will organize the university’s power system to reduce operational risk, enhance reliability, improve safety and position the campus for future growth.

Why is NC State undertaking this project?

Similar to other components of infrastructure across the state and around the country, NC State’s critical utility infrastructure is aging — and, in some cases, failing. New equipment and technology will make the university’s power system safer, more reliable and better protected against outages, preparing us for decades of growth.

When will the project occur?

The project is underway and is expected to conclude in 2025.

Where is the project taking place?

The primary upgrades will take place on North and Central Campus. The map below outlines the areas of work and the approximate timeline for construction for each phase of the project.

How will the project affect me?

As buildings are transitioned to the new, upgraded power distribution system, they will experience temporary power outages. Building occupants will be notified one month in advance of any scheduled  power outages. Building power transitions are dependent on weather; therefore, backup dates will be scheduled for each outage.

There will be traffic impacts as project-related construction moves throughout campus. Phase I of project construction begins Dec. 15, 2021. See the map for projected dates and locations of traffic impacts during this phase.  

What is the project budget?

The total project budget is $58,800,000.

Who is the project designer and contractor?

RMF Engineering is the lead designer and engineer of record, and Balfour Beatty is the contractor and will lead the construction management.

Who do I contact if I have a question or concern about Power Forward?

If you have additional questions or concerns about this project, please contact the construction project manager, Jake Terrell, at 919-513-7874 or jake_terrell@ncsu.edu

How can I help the project succeed?

Communication and collaboration are the best ways to help this project succeed. If you have feedback you would like to provide — whether about traffic disruptions, building power transitions or other topics — reach out directly to one of our project contacts:

Jake Terrell
Project Manager
Facilities Division, NC State University

Jim Rains
Director, Formal Construction
Facilities Division, NC State University

Colby Willis
Operations Manager
Balfour Beatty

Community Input

We need your input. Please choose a survey form below to communicate any specific needs or impact on your building or department that will need to be considered as the project advances on campus.