2013-07-03 / Front Page

Faulty Fan Blower Smokes Ravenswood Power Plant


“Big Alice,” aka the TransCanada Ravenswood Power Plant, blew a combustion fan when temperatures soared into the 90s last month, authorities said.
The fan overheated on the morning of June 17, blowing a black cloud of smoke over the Astoria/Long Island City communities.
City Councilmember Peter Vallone, Jr. spotted the smoke as he was heading to Astoria from his Manhattan City Council office and called company officials to determine the cause.
Vallone said TransCanada officials blamed the boiler fan failure for the smoke and said the situation was under control.
“As a result of the loss of the combustion fan, black smoke was present in the stack and people would have seen this for a short period of time,” the spokesperson said.
“Corrective action was taken immediately and the situation was quickly under control,” the spokesperson said.
TransCanada officials stressed there was no fire at the plant and there was no health risk to the public due to the explosion or the resulting smoke.
TransCanada spokesperson Grady Semmens told Vallone the plant lost 90 megawatts in the incident, which did not present a brownout condition. No power outages or other incidents were reported in the days following the fan blower failure.
The Ravenswood Power Plant, at 36th Avenue and Vernon Boulevard in Long Island City, has the ability to deliver additional power from reserve units on-site that allows the power company to meet its commitment to customers in the New York City area, Semmens said.
The fan was not damaged in the incident and it has continued to operate normally since the June 17 incident, authorities said.

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