CPS Energy analyzing explosion at Deely coal power plant

CPS Energy has said its Deely 1 coal power unit will likely be down for several weeks as crews work to replace the cascade housing damaged in an explosion at the site on September 10.

Coal is fed into the cascade building by conveyors that move the product from coal piles. It is several steps removed from the point where coal is burned to generate energy.  

In an update from the company, David Herbst, senior vice-president of power generation, said that coal dust in a silo caught fire, ultimately causing damage to the cascade building. However, the root cause of the explosion is still under investigation.

CPS reported the plant’s fire suppression system worked as designed and the company was able to quickly evacuate and account for all of its employees. Two workers suffered minor injuries from falling debris during the incident, but were treated at the scene and released to return to work.

CPS does not anticipate any disruption to its power supply as demand has lowered with cooler weather and Deely 2 continues to operate at full capacity.

The 871 MW J.T. Deely coal-fired power plant has been in operation since 1977 and is located in San Antonio, Texas. CPS Energy announced in 2012 that it had entered into an agreement for the purchase of the natural gas-fired Rio Nogales power plant, which will replace energy output from the Deely plant, which is scheduled for retirement in 2018.  

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