Statement by Harry Francois, Western NY Regional Manager, Niagara Power Project, on Extinguished Transformer Fire

Contact Information:
MIchael Saltzman

March 19, 2014


A transformer fire at the New York Power Authority’s (NYPA) Niagara Hydroelectric Power Plant was extinguished at approximately 8:20 p.m. Wednesday. There were no injuries or power service disruptions to the plant’s customers and no impact—environmental or otherwise—on the surrounding communities.

The fire occurred at 7:10 p.m. in one of the 13 step-up transformers at the Robert Moses Niagara Power Plant, the hydroelectric project’s main generating facility.

NYPA immediately activated the plant’s emergency management response plan in accordance with its standard operating procedures. The plant’s automatic water deluge system activated as designed.

We’re grateful to the first-responder organizations that helped to extinguish the fire: the Upper Mountain Fire Co., Lewiston Fire Company No. 1, Niagara Active Hose Company, Sanborn Fire Co. and the Niagara Falls Air Base Emergency Response Unit.

The cause of the fire, which was contained to a single transformer, is under investigation and a damage assessment is under way.

Transformers take electricity generated at a power plant and step up the voltage so that the power can be distributed over high-voltage power lines.

The Niagara plant remains in service.


About NYPA:

■ The New York Power Authority has been designated as the lead entity via Executive Order 88 by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to form a central management and implementation plan to carry out his Build Smart NY plan to reduce energy use by state facilities by 20 percent by 2020. ■ NYPA uses no tax money or state credit. It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity.■ NYPA is the nation's largest state public power organization, through the operation of its 16 generating facilities in various parts of New York State, participation in a unique public/private partnership to contract for power from a clean generating plant in Queens, and its operation of more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. ■ More than 70 percent of the electricity NYPA produces is clean renewable hydropower. Its lower-cost power production and electricity purchases support hundreds of thousands of jobs throughout the state.■ For more information visit www.nypa.gov and follow us on Twitter @NYPAenergy, Facebook, Instagram, Wordpress, and LinkedIn.