Imagine if this happened at the Simon Industries 325MW gas plant proposed for the Waseca area — the one that’s to sit on top of SEVEN BILLION CUBIC FEET OF UNDERGROUND GAS STORAGE!!

Hot off the press — in today’s Waseca County News — a peaking plant turbine blew up:

Jet engine explodes at Xcel electricity site in Faribault

Staff Writer

7/14/2005 10:42:00 AM

FARIBAULT — A jet engine exploded in Faribault Tuesday, but it had nothing to do with an airplane.

Faribault firefighters were called to 9:31 a.m. to an explosion at Xcel’s peaking generators, located at 17th Street Southwest and Westward Drive.

“This is a very unusual event. The jet engines that are somewhat similar to those in an airplane are only used during extremely hot weather to generate electricity. There are two such engines at the West Faribault peaking facility,” said Paul Adelmann, an Xcel public relations representative.

The jet engines at the Faribault Xcel peaking facility are only used five or six times a year during hot spells, such as southern Minnesota has experienced this past week, Adelmann explained.

“What happened is that the unit that exploded was being tested. The other unit was not in use,” Adelmann said. “There are safeguards in the engines to prevent what happened Tuesday. However, for whatever reason, the safeguards in this unit did not work and the engine over-revved. Before workers could get to the emergency shut-off switch, it exploded.”

No one was injured, Adelmann said. Debris, however, did fly across the neighborhood.

“Anyone in the neighborhood that had any damage of property from the debris can contact us for compensation,” Adelmann said.

The explosion also did not interrupt electrical service to the Faribault area.

It’s not the Faribault Energy Park, my Waseca client, Nancy Prehn, has been checking and there’s another peaking plant in the southwest part of town. More info when we get it, maybe a photo?

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