Healy Unit 2 Power Plant

Current Status

Recommissioning Timeline:

  • April thru June 2018 - repair work complete
  • June/July 2018 - plant starts on oil and then transferred to coal
  • Summer 2018 - testing of equipment and systems
  • By end of September 2018 - plant commissioned

This 50 MW power plant increases our baseload of coal-fired generation and will provide long-term stability, since coal prices over time have proven to be significantly less volatile than oil or gas prices.

Permitting

  • In November 2012, the joint Consent Decree between GVEA, AIDEA and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was approved.
  • At issue was the agency’s reissue of the air permit – the last major hurdle to restarting the Healy Unit 2 Power Plant.
  • Golden Valley chose to pursue the Consent Decree option with the EPA, otherwise, there was no defined end to the air permitting process. The Consent Decree avoids what the co-op believes would have been lengthy and costly litigation.

Consent Decree Stipulations

  • GVEA agreed to install the most rigorous emission controls available on Healy Unit 2, with an estimated cost of $88 to $92 million. This includes an estimated $5 million for installing additional nitrous oxide controls on Healy Unit 1.

  • GVEA agreed to pay $250,000 to help fund the Fairbanks North Star Borough and Denali Borough Woodstove Change-out Program. This will help alleviate the particulate matter problems in the Interior.

  • GVEA negotiated for a minimal payment of $115,000 to the EPA. Payments to the EPA are required under the rules of a Consent Decree.

The Consent Decree does not require any mandatory shutdown dates for neither Healy Unit 1 nor Healy Unit 2. GVEA’s board of directors retains full control of decisions regarding shutdown of either plant.  

Restarting Healy Unit 2 will:

  • Further diversify our fuel mix, which will help stabilize rates
  • Put this $300 million State and Federal asset to work

History of the Plant

In 1989, the U.S. DOE’s Clean Coal Technology Program selected Healy as a demonstration plant to use experimental technology to burn waste coal. Healy Unit 2 began burning coal in 1998 and generated power intermittently through 1999 in its testing phase. When the plant failed a 90-day commercial operation test, it was placed in warm lay-up status in early 2000. Talks between AIDEA and GVEA to resolve disputes were unsuccessful. In 2005, AIDEA filed a lawsuit against GVEA. The purchase of the power plant ended the lawsuit.

1993 Final Environmental Impact Statement
(Volume 1 | Volume 2)

Construction Funding

Department Of Energy

$120 million

Alaska Legislature

$25 million

AIDEA

$150 million

GVEA & Usibelli Coal Mine

$10 million plus in-kind contributions

 

Timeline

1989

DOE selected Healy Unit 2 (formerly HCCP) as a Clean Coal Technology Program demonstration plant.

1995-1997

Healy Unit 2 constructed.

2000

Plant placed in warm lay-up status.

Feb. 2009

GVEA and AIDEA reach sale agreement.

2009 - 2013

Negotiations were finalized in December 2013 when the purchase agreement was signed on December 4.

2014 - 2015

After 18 months of retrofitting and refurbishing Healy Unit 2, which included updating systems and replacing obsolete controls, on May 28, 2015, the plant was fired on oil for the first time since 1999. On August 4, 2015, Healy Unit 2 was fired on oil. 

2016 - 2017

 

On September 3, 2016, Healy Unit 2 suffered damage to the coal feed system due to spontaneous cumbustion, commonly known in the industry as a "puff."

On March 3, 2017 when the plant was operating in a start-up condition operating on oil, Healy Unit 2 experienced a fire/explosioin in the coal feed system.

Both Unit 1 and Unit 2 have undergone significant environmental upgrades. Unit 1 was successfully commissioned six months early. Unit 2's environmental controls are installed and will be commissioned once the plant is back online, anticipated in the fall of 2018..

At GVEA's August 28, 2017 board meeting, the directors authorized moving forward with proposed modifications to Healy Unit 2's coal feed and fuel transport system.

 2018

 

On March 3, 2016 when the plant was operating in a start-up condition opeating on oil, Healy Unit 2 experienced a fire/explosioin in the coal feed system.

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