Pasadena Power Plant Turbine Blast

Thursday, October 18, 2012 @ 06:10 PM gHale

A turbine at the Glenarm Power Plant in Pasadena, CA, burst into flames at about 10:18 a.m. Tuesday, Pasadena Fire Department officials said, sending smoke at least 65 feet into the air.

The plant’s fire suppression system put out the flames, Pasadena Water and Power (PWP) officials said. Fire Department spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said the flames were out within half an hour, after workers shut off the gas. Firefighters from South Pasadena, Alhambra and Pasadena responded to the fire.

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The fire, the second of its kind at the plant in the last few years, ended up contained within the turbine’s large metal case and no suffered injury, said Erica Rolufs, PWP spokesperson.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, she said. Derderian said fire personnel remained on the scene well after the fire was out and officials did not have a damage estimate yet.

“That generating unit is down,” Rolufs said. “That’s definitely major damage … We have other units that are still operating.”

With a heat wave expected this week, PWP is looking at its energy supply, both from suppliers and its own production – to determine whether they will have enough, Rolufs said.

With another generating unit down, “we may need more supply from our supplier or ask for greater conservation from our customers this week,” Rolufs said.

Pasadena spokesman William Boyer said only two of the plants five jet engine turbines are operating. PWP, he said, is trying to activate a back-up turbine and to assess the power needs of the plant.

No power outages have occurred, Boyer said. He said PWP is determining how much power they can import to compensate for the turbine outage.

“They are trying to determine how quickly they can bring that (other turbine) up online and how much power are we needing during this weather, and what are our import capabilities,” he said.

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