Transformer fire breaks out, is extinguished at Washington gas fired plant

Chehalis, Wash., January 20, 2011 – Automatic sprinklers and local firefighters helped put out a transformer fire at a natural gas-fired power plant in Washington State.

The 520-MW Chelais combined-cycle power plant, owned by PacifiCorp, is located southwest of Seattle. The plant was not generating power at the time of the fire. Plant operators could not say when the plant was likely to begin generating again.

The company will now investigate the extent of the damage, which was isolated to the transformer area.

The plant was built in 2003 and operated by a unit of what is now GDF Suez. PacifiCorp bought the plant in 2008.

PacifiCorp provides power to about 1.7 million customers in the West as Pacific Power in Oregon, Washington and California, and as Rocky Mountain Power in Utah, Wyoming and Idaho.

PacifiCorp is a unit of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway’s MidAmerican Energy Holding Co.

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