Judge allows Healy Clean Coal Plant to move ahead

FAIRBANKS — A federal judge approved an agreement concerning the restart of the Healy Clean Coal Plant that will allow the project to advance.

The agreement between Golden Valley Electric Association, the state of Alaska and federal regulators was approved Monday by U.S. Court Judge Ralph Beistline, according to the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, citing a GVEA statement.

GVEA interim President and CEO Cory Borgeson said the proposal to provide Interior Alaskans with a reliable and long-term lower cost power supply is moving forward.

“This is a significant milestone in restarting HCCP,” he said.

The $300 million plant, built with substantial federal investment, operated sporadically in the late 1990s and closed in 2000 after a spotty record of reliability and safety concerns.

Beistline signed the agreement at the end of a 30-day comment period in which no objections were raised. The agreement is with the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority, which owns the plant, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and involves air quality permitting.

GVEA, which will pay $50 million to buy the plant from the state, agreed to install about $40 million of pollution controls at the plant and to accelerate by two years the installation of $5 million in pollution controls at the adjacent Healy No. 1 power plant. It will also spend an additional estimated $20 million to get the plant running.

Borgeson said previously that spending millions to get the plant running again makes economic sense now because of the high cost of oil needed to run the utility’s power plants.

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