Mechanical Failure, Fire Shuts Down Plant

Monday, December 8, 2014 @ 06:12 PM gHale

A major mechanical failure at the Coyote Station near Beulah, ND, caused a fire, but left no one injured, officials said.

One of the power plant’s turbine-driven boiler pumps had a major mechanical failure at about 5 a.m. Thursday, said officials at Otter Tail Power Company, which owns 35 percent of the station. Oil lines ruptured, resulting in a fire.

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“No one was hurt,” said Jan Rudolf, vice president, Energy Supply, for Otter Tail Power Company. “We are investigating the cause and assessing the damage. Until we complete our assessment we cannot estimate how long the plant might be out of service.”

Otter Tail’s Cris Oehler said there is damage to some auxiliary equipment, as well as to the roof of the building.

“We’re making preparations to return the plant to service, at reduced load,” said Oehler. “We don’t know when that will be.”

Oehler said Otter Tail is trying to determine what caused the boiler to fail. She said Otter Tail customers won’t notice that the plant is off-line – because of the integrated power grid.

Coyote Station generates 427 megawatts for Montana-Dakota Utilities Co., Northern Municipal Power Agency and NorthWestern Energy, as well as Otter Tail. Otter Tail manages the plant.



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