Healy Unit 2 Plant project breaks ground
Pictured, from left: Usibelli Coal Mine President Joe Usibelli Jr., GVEA Board Chairman Bill Nordmark, GVEA President & CEO, Cory Borgeson, Denali Borough Mayor Clay Walker, GVEA VP of Power Supply Lynn Thompson, Project Director Black & Veach Energy Steve Stark, and Project Manager Black & Veach Energy Mark Chapin
Today, Golden Valley Electric Association and local officials held a ground breaking ceremony for the restart of the Healy 2 power plant.
Healy 2 will put fifty megawatts of coal-fired power into GVEA’s grid. Adding more coal will help stabilize electric rates in the Interior, which have risen with the oil market over the past decade. The restart will also boost the Healy economy by creating at least 20 permanent jobs over the next 40 years.
GVEA will begin test-firing the plant with oil in the spring of 2015, according to Lynn Thompson, Golden Valley’s Vice President for Power Supply. We anticipate the first fire on coal will be next June. Additional environmental controls will be added within 18 months.
The total cost of the restart and environmental controls is expected to approach $187 million– but the plant is expected to save about $21 million a year in fuel costs.
Work has already begun inside the plant. Obsolete electronics have been removed and existing systems are being checked. Foundation work has begun for a new building that will house the emission control system.
The plant operated briefly in 1999 and has been kept in warm layup status ever since. Golden Valley purchased the plant from the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIEDA) December 4, 2013.
Attending the restart ceremony were the Hon. Clay Walker, Mayor of the Denali Borough; Cory Borgeson, President and CEO of GVEA, and Joe Usibelli, Jr. President of Usibelli Coal Mine, which will supply fuel for the plant; Steve Stark, Project Director and Mark Chapin, Project Manager for Black & Veach Energy who is the contractor providing engineering, procurement and construction for this project.