Xcel Energy reports fire at Black Dog coal plant

Local firefighters are working to extinguish a fire in a coal bunker at the Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL) Black Dog Generating Station in Burnsville, Minn., the company said early March 16.

The fire in the Unit 4 coal bunker was reported at 7:30 a.m. local time. One Xcel Energy employee was injured and transported to an area hospital. About 50 employees who were evacuated have now returned to the plant, which continues operating. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Black Dog was built in the 1950s as a coal-fired plant. The original Unit 1 boiler/turbine and the Unit 2 boiler were replaced in 2000-2002 with a natural gas combined-cycle unit (Unit 5). Units 3 and 4 are dual-fuel boilers (coal and natural gas) with steam turbines that continue to utilize coal as the primary fuel until they are retired in April.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.