Explosion reported at Philly energy plant

Police and fire officials say a boiler has exploded at an energy plant in Philadelphia.

A Veolia spokesman says the incident was contained to the inside of the facility and there was no fire. He says the person with minor injuries was treated at the scene and all employees are accounted for.

Police spokesman Jeff Chrusch says the building on the edge of Center City near the Schuylkill River been evacuated.

A fire department spokesman says the blast was reported just after 3:15 p.m. Wednesday and crews were on the scene two minutes later. He says they are treating it as a hazardous materials incident purely because it happened at an energy plant.

Veolia Energy has a steam and electricity plant at that location

Veolia Energy has a steam and electricity plant at that location. It provides thermal energy to 300 clients in Philadelphia. In 2013 the plant switched from fuel oil to natural gas, which was touted as a green, climate friendly move.

According to the Inquirer, the two new boilers, which cost a total of $28 million, are designed to get up to speed in nine minutes, so they do not need to be operated on standby. Shutting down the old boilers allows the plant’s most efficient gas-powered units to take on more load, lowering costs.

Most of the energy the plant produces provides heat to the University of Pennsylvania campus. Other customers include large Center City buildings.

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