Golden Valley Electric Association and local officials held a dedication ceremony yesterday, acknowledging the restart of the Healy Unit 2 Power Plant.
Healy Unit 2 will add fifty megawatts of coal-fired power into GVEA’s grid. Since coal prices have proven to be significantly less volatile over time than oil or gas, Healy Unit 2 should provide additional long-term stability to GVEA’s rates.
Since May, the plant has been fired on both oil and coal as equipment and systems have been tested. The plant is currently in the testing phase, transitioning from oil to coal. During the test phase, Unit 2 was brought up and down, from 5 to 40 megawatts. Full commercial operation is expected by the end of the year.
Work on the additional environmental equipment will continue on Unit 2 for the next two years. New environmental controls will be added over the next 18 months and will be housed in a new addition, which is approximately 60 percent compete and scheduled to be finished in the summer of 2017. The total cost of the restart and environmental controls is expected to approach $187 million.
Healy Unit 2 operated briefly in 1999 and has been kept in warm layup status until the recent restart work began. Golden Valley Electric purchased the plant from the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA) on December 4, 2013. GVEA has been working inside the plant since May 2014, removing obsolete electronics and checking existing systems and equipment.
About 90 workers are involved with the construction/restart. Once fully operational, Healy Unit 2 will have created an additional 30 regular, full-time jobs in the Denali Borough.
Approximately 80 people attended the restart ceremony including the Hon. Clay Walker, Mayor of the Denali Borough; Cory Borgeson, President and CEO of GVEA; Lynn Thompson, Vice President of Power Supply of GVEA and Joe Usibelli, Jr. President of Usibelli Coal Mine, which will supply fuel for the plant; and Mark Chapin, Project Manager for Black & Veatch Energy, who is the contractor that has provided engineering, procurement and construction for this project.
- Denali Borough Mayor Clay Walker
- Black & Veatch Energy Project Manager Mark Chapin
- GVEA Vice President of Power Supply Lynn Thompson
- GVEA President & CEO Cory Borgeson
- Usibelli Coal Mine President Joe Usibelli Jr.