Basin Electric Power Cooperative said May 15 that a fire on May 14 at its coal-fired Laramie River plant in Wyoming occurred in the surge bin tower.
An initial inspection of the area shows damage to many sheet metal walls of conveyor rooms as well as piping and electrical damage, Basin said. No apparent structural damage has been noted. A decision was made to remove Unit 1 from service until Basin can safely deliver coal to the Unit 1 bunkers again. The surge bin tower is the delivery point for coal from the stockpile to supply coal to Units 1 and 2. There are three units at the station. Unit 3 continues in operation.
Basin said in a May 17 update that Exponent Engineering and Scientific Services is doing the forensic work to determine the root cause of the fire. No significant structural damage has been found. Areas that were damaged include the surge bin tower, the breakaway walls and windows in Units 1 and 2 surge bin areas, and adjacent areas. Unit 1 is estimated to return to service June 1, Basin said. Unit 2 will likely extend its scheduled eight-week maintenance outage from its original return-to-service date of May 26 to June 8. Unit 3 remains in operation. Basin Electric is a part-owner and operator of Laramie River.
The Laramie River Station, located east of Wheatland, Wyo., is one of the largest consumer-operated, regional, joint power supply ventures in the U.S. It has three coal-based units: Unit 1, 570 net MW; Unit 2: 570 net MW; and Unit 3: 570 net MW. Unit 1 is connected to the Eastern Interconnection, while Unit 2 and Unit 3 are connected to the Western Interconnection.