Westar sees Kansas power unit back in 8 weeks after fire

Mon Dec 3, 2012 8:47am EST

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Dec 3 (Reuters) - Kansas power company Westar Energy Inc estimated it would take about eight weeks to return the 385-megawatt (MW) Unit 2 at the natural gas/oil-fired Gordon Evans power plant in Kansas, after a fire damaged a transformer last week.

The fire, which damaged the transformer on Nov. 29, caused roughly $5 million to $8 million in damage, company spokeswoman Gina Penzig said in an email late Friday.

The unit was shut for planned maintenance at the time of the fire and there were no injuries, Penzig said.

Penzig said the company already had a spare transformer at the site, which energy experts said would speed the transformer repair.

The other units at the 835-MW plant were available for service but on reserve shutdown, she said.

The company uses the plant mostly during the hot summer air conditioning season and sometimes during the cold winter heating season. The transformer fire did not cause customers to lose power.

The plant is located in Sedgwick County about 20 miles (32 km) northwest of Wichita, the largest city in Kansas.

There are several units at Gordon Evans, including the 153-MW gas/oil Unit 1 steam turbine, which entered service in 1961, the 385-MW gas/oil Unit 2 steam turbine (1967), the 74-MW gas/oil GT1 gas turbine (2000), the 71-MW gas/oil GT2 gas turbine (2000) and the 150-MW gas/oil GT3 gas turbine (2001).

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