One of the largest hydroelectric facilities in the country, Hoover Dam, experienced a transformer explosion on Tuesday. A large cloud of black smoke and flames were produced, but they were quickly put out.
The engineering marvel on the Colorado River that spans the border between Arizona and Nevada did not cause any injuries in the explosion that occurred close to its base. The 8 million people in Arizona, Nevada, and Southern California who depend on the electricity generated from Hoover Dam continued to receive it, according to the Western Area Power Administration.
Authorities were attempting to ascertain the extent of the damage to the transformer—one of 15 at the complex that regulate the voltages for power transmitted to customers—while the origin of the fire was being investigated.
According to Jacklynn Gould, a regional director for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, “there is no risk to the power grid.”
According to a statement from Gould, the fire started at around 10 a.m. and was put out in about 30 minutes. Tourists were drawn in by it after they claimed to have heard an alert and felt the ground shake.
“Just now, a huge explosion of black smoke filled the sky. It almost resembled a mushroom, then there was a fire “Herro spoke. “I started filming because I was so shocked.”
About 25 miles (40 kilometres) southeast of Las Vegas, on the apron of a structure containing turbines, just downstream from the dam’s base, an explosion took place. At 726 feet, Hoover Dam ranks among the tallest concrete dams in the United States (221 meters). Each of its 17 generators has the capacity to power 100,000 homes.
The wide crest of the dam, a National Historic Landmark that can be seen in movies like Transformers and Fools Rush In, is crossed by up to 20,000 cars each day. A bypass bridge that was built high above the dam and opened in 2010 is used by the majority of drivers going between Arizona and Nevada.
The dam, powerhouses, and turbines are owned and operated by the Bureau of Reclamation. The Western Area Power Administration purchases the power generated on site after it has been sent to a substation.
As a baseload source of electricity, Hoover Dam is able to instantly increase or decrease its output as needed by the grid.
At the Phoenix control centre of the Western Area Power Administration, the fire raised an alert. A hydroelectric facility’s loss of a transformer or other piece of equipment can put strain on the grid, but according to spokesman Lisa Meiman, “no one source is crucial to the health of the electrical grid.”
Also Read: Lalit Modi’s talent at making up surprises
Power produced by 57 federal hydroelectric facilities is sold by the administration. Among the biggest, according to Meiman, are the Glen Canyon Dam and Hoover Dam upstream on the Arizona-Utah boundary.
The two greatest man-made lakes in the United States, Lake Mead and Lake Powell, which store water from the Colorado River, have recently been endangered, putting the hydropower generated by both dams in jeopardy.
In order to maintain the dams’ capacity to produce electricity and maintain the flow of water to the Western states and Mexico that depend on them, federal officials have taken action in recent years to support the lakes. The lakes are now at their lowest levels in decades due to drought and climate change.
Read More: PSA Warns of Nuclear Attack On USA