Overflowing Tank Shuts Power Plant

Monday, June 2, 2014 @ 12:06 PM gHale

After a water storage tank overflowed, one of two generating units ended up knocked out at a southern Illinois power plant.

Managers of Prairie State Energy Campus said the unit is offline because a water-storage tank overflowed on last Saturday, leading to the release of steam and water that blew a hole in the plant’s siding and damaged equipment.

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This is the latest in a series of problems at the coal-fired plant, which has suffered maintenance issues and budget overruns.

The unit is under repair and should soon “be back online and producing power for most of the summer,” the company said. No one suffered an injury in the incident.

Prairie State has two units, each of which has a capacity of 800 megawatts. The undamaged unit continues to operate.

American Municipal Power, a Columbus, OH-based company that manages electricity purchases for city-owned utilities, owns 23 percent of the plant, which is more than any other owner.

AMP did not respond to a request for comment yesterday.

Prairie State began construction in 2007 with a budget of $2.9 billion, a figure that rose to more than $5 billion because of a series of setbacks. The plant began producing electricity in 2012.

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