Explosion, Fire Shut Down PA NatGas Electric Power Plant

talen-energy-fire2There was an explosion, followed by a fire, at a natural gas-fired electric generating plant last night at Talen Energy’s Lower Mount Bethel power plant along Depues Ferry Road in Lower Mount Bethel Township, Northampton County, PA (Lehigh Valley area). Near as anyone can tell, the explosion and fire had nothing to do with natural gas or the plant itself. The explosion and fire were in an electrical transformer on the outside of the building that houses the machinery producing electricity. The entire plant is currently shut down, not producing electricity, to fix the transformer and to understand what happened to prevent it from happening again. Nobody was injured. The entire thing is pretty much a non-event. We mention it because of the breathless way it’s being reported–with headlines trumpeting a fire at a natgas power plant. Every year (month? week?) transformers blow up around the country outside of other types of buildings, including nuclear plants (see this one from Sept. 4 in Florida, and this one from Aug. 30 in Tennessee). Because natural gas is connected to the story in Northampton County, it’s a major headline. Again, natgas had nothing to do with explosion and subsequent fire…

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