Steam generator blaze causes temporary power outage for some of TEP’s Arizona customers

Tucson Electric Power RICE generators
Image credit TEP

A fire at the 173-MW H. Wilson Sundt gas-fired power station in Tucson, Arizona, forced its utility owner to shut down several units Wednesday, cutting power to about 6,000 customers in the region.

Tucson Electric Power reported that the fire started Wednesday afternoon in one of Sundt’s two gas-fired steam generator units. It was put out quickly by local firefighters, but the resulting outage temporarily impacted power generation, according to the company’s Facebook account.

No injuries were reported and TEP did not list a cause for the steam generator fire yet.

Sundt’s gas-fired units went into operation several years ago. The plant’s original coal-fired capacity was commissioned in the 1960s, then closed in 2015 due to a long-term carbon reduction plan.

TEP has placed reciprocating internal combustion engine generators (pictured above) at the facility in recent years. Those replaced older gas-fired units.

The Tucson utility provides electricity to about 433,000 customers in the metropolitan area.

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