Biomass Plant Explosion Injures 2

Two  workers are being treated for serious injuries following an accident at the biomass plant in Sacul, Texas.

According to Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital spokeswoman Kim Barton, two patients are in critical condition and they will be taken by ambulance to a burn unit.

Sheriff Thomas Kerss said the workers were working on a 444-volt electrical panel when it arced. An on-site safety crew did emergency treatment until an ambulance arrived.

Southern Power spokeswoman Stephanie Kirijan confirmed two Fagen construction workers were injured and all Fagen and Southern Power employees have been moved to a safe location. She said the plant will be closed for the rest of the day.

In October 2009, Southern Company purchased the project from American Renewables. The project has been under construction since November 2009 and will be operational in mid 2012. Southern Company expects to employ approximately 38 full-time employees once the plant is constructed. Currently there are approximately 1,000 workers onsite.

Once the facility is fully operational, it will produce 100 megawatts of electricity and use 1.1 million tons of wood waste per year. The vast majority of the wood will come from within a 75-mile radius of the plant.

Southern Power is among the largest wholesale energy providers in the Southeast, meeting the electricity needs of municipalities, electric cooperatives and investor-owned utilities. The company owns and operates more than 7,500 megawatts of power generation capability, with facilities in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and New Mexico and is constructing an additional 820 megawatts of generation in North Carolina and Texas.