A contract of cleanliness.The time has come for Interior's experimental Healy Clean Coal Project to show what it can do.
It has been a long, rocky road for the Healy Clean Coal Project.
The experimental, 50-megawatt electric plant was billed as a showcase for innovative technology that would reduce air pollution while burning the high-moisture, ultra-low sulfur coal mined at Usibelli Coal Mine in Healy to provide much-needed energy for the state's Interior.
The project is part of the U.S. Department of Energy's Clean Coal Technology Program, a joint government-industry partnership with more than $6.5 billion invested nationally in new technologies to increase electricity generating options while curbing the release of acid rain pollutants.
The program began in 1986 and uses cutting-edge technology designed to reduce nitrogen oxide Noun 1. nitrogen oxide - any of several oxides of nitrogen formed by the action of nitric acid on oxidizable materials; present in car exhausts
pollutant - waste matter that contaminates the water or air or soil emissions from existing boilers by 75 percent, and from new boilers by 90 percent. It is designed to remove 90 percent of sulfur dioxide sulfur dioxide, chemical compound, SO2, a colorless gas with a pungent, suffocating odor. It is readily soluble in cold water, sparingly soluble in hot water, and soluble in alcohol, acetic acid, and sulfuric acid. and virtually all fly-ash particles before flue gases are released.
The 50-megawatt electric plant was built on Golden Valley Electric Association property in Healy, adjacent to GVEA's existing 25-megawatt facility.
Ground-breaking for the $267 million facility, owned by the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority, was in May 1995. According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. the original blueprints, the plant was expected to finish its demonstration testing phase late in 1998 so GVEA GVEA Golden Valley Electric Association (Alaska) could take over commercial operations in 1999. That hasn't happened.
Early tests were promising, says Dennis McCrohan, deputy director of project development and operation for AIDEA AIDEA Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority . The plant is living up to expectations regarding emissions reductions, but "we have had somewhat more problems on the combustors than we anticipated. In our view, certainly no unsolvable problems have turned up."
The plant uses a slagging combustor com·bus·tor
A combustion chamber and its igniters, injectors, and other related apparatus in a jet engine or gas turbine.
A name generally assigned to the combination of flame holder or stabilizer, igniter, combustion chamber, and technology in which pulverized pul·ver·ize
v. pul·ver·ized, pul·ver·iz·ing, pul·ver·iz·es
1. To pound, crush, or grind to a powder or dust.
2. To demolish.
v.intr. coal is injected into a combustion chamber Combustion chamber
The space at the head end of an internal combustion engine cylinder where most of the combustion takes place. See Combustion developed by TRW TRW The Real World (TV reality show)
TRW The Right Way
TRW Tactical Reconnaissance Wing
TRW The Retriever Weekly (University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD)
TRW Thompson Ramo Wooldridge Inc Combustion Business Unit, where it is partially burned and the ash it contains is converted into molten slag, which is drained off the walls. This removes as much as 90 percent of the fly ash fly ash
Fine particulate ash sent up by the combustion of a solid fuel, such as coal, and discharged as an airborne emission or recovered as a byproduct for various commercial uses.
Noun 1. before the fuel reaches the main boiler. This process also minimizes the formation of nitrogen oxides, a major pollutant.
At the entrance to the boiler, limestone is injected into the combustion gases to react with and to help remove sulfur dioxide, another pollutant A spray dryer A spray dryer is a device used in spray drying. It takes a liquid stream and separates the solute or suspension as a solid and the solvent into a vapor. The solid is usually collected in a drum or cyclone. absorber, developed by Joy Technologies, removes more sulfur dioxide by injecting water and recycled limestone into the gases as they leave the boiler. The sulfur dioxide combines with the limestone spray to form calcium sulfate Noun 1. calcium sulfate - a white salt (CaSO4)
gypsum - a common white or colorless mineral (hydrated calcium sulphate) used to make cements and plasters (especially plaster of Paris) , which is caught by filters, along with the remaining fly ash.
The clean air technology is also designed to be added to older boilers, or in the conversion of oil-fired burners, to allow existing power plants to meet clean air standards without expensive retrofilling. The technology still has some bugs, McCrohan says, but nothing unforeseen.
"The problems with the combustors haven't kept us up at night," McCrohan adds. "It's the litigation An action brought in court to enforce a particular right. The act or process of bringing a lawsuit in and of itself; a judicial contest; any dispute.
When a person begins a civil lawsuit, the person enters into a process called litigation. that has kept us up at night."
One Unsatisfied Customer
Last spring, GVEA filed a complaint with the Alaska Public Utilities Commission, followed by a suit filed in Alaska Superior Court, claiming that the problems at the Healy plant could endanger Golden Valley workers and increase long-term operating costs operating costs npl → gastos mpl operacionales .
GVEA's complaint also says the energy output from one ton of coal is less than 1990 studies indicated, therefore increasing operating costs; the coal handling system design is flawed; and needed maintenance has not been met and could result in voided void·ed
Having the central area cut out or left vacant, leaving an outline or narrow border: a voided lozenge. warranties.
The complaints are still active, although proceedings are moving slowly, McCrohan says. "There's been filings, but there's been no court action," he says. "There is some dispute resolution currently ongoing, which is solving some, but not all the problems." He could not comment further on the litigation.
AIDEA has filed a motion to dismiss the APUC APUC Average Procurement Unit Cost
APUC Afghan Persons Under Control (US DoD)
APUC Anno Post Urbem Conditam (Year After the Founation of Rome, epigraphy) complaint, and GVEA has until April 30, 1999, to reply. "Until then, I suspect that nothing will happen," says Agnes Pitts, spokesperson for APUC.
The December Deadline
Under its lease agreement, AIDEA has until Dec. 31, 1999 to turn over a commercial power plant to GVEA, says Frank Abegg, vice president of Healy generation for Golden Valley. For that to happen, the Healy plant has to do three things:
1. Complete a 90-day commercial acceptance test
2. All of the major systems in the plant must meet design specifications; and
3. It must be determined that the plant is capable of a 30-year commercial life
"If they don't occur by the end of this year, then the contract expires between AIDEA and GVEA, and we no longer have a requirement to lease that plant," Abegg says. Abegg likens buying a power plant to buying a car. The most important thing, he says, is reliability. You want the car to start every day. Next, you want to make sure the car doesn't quit on you on the way to the grocery store. Third, you want the car to be able to go 55 miles per hour and be fuel efficient.
The same goes for a power plant. It should operate every day and operate at optimum efficiency. "And," he adds, "in our business, our customers expect the lights to go on and stay on."
At the end of the year, the lease for the land on which the clean coal plant is built expires and the coal contract with Usibelli Coal Mine also expires. What happens if the plant is not operational?
Neither AIDEA's McCrohan nor Abegg could provide a definite answer, although retrofitting the combustors was one option mentioned, but both are hoping for the best possible outcome. "We want it to be a win-win situation," Abegg says.
McCrohan says AIDEA expects to begin the commercial tests in July. "If all went well and everything passed commercial tests, I suspect it would be turned over (to GVEA) in mid- to late-fall," McCrohan says. "We'd hoped that that would be the case."
The project is located about four miles from the borders of Denali National Park and Preserve Denali National Park and Preserve (dənäl`ē), in the Alaska Range, S central Alaska; comprising Denali National Park (4,740,912 acres/1,919,398 hectares), est. as Mt. , an ecologically sensitive location. However, experimental emissions technology was designed for HCCP HCCP Housing Credit Certified Professional
HCCP Harvard Center for Cancer Prevention
HCCP Healy Clean Coal Project
HCCP Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points
HCCP Historical Car Club of Pennsylvania and is currently being tested. An emissions controls retrofit was added to the original 32-year-old, 25-megawatt Unit #1 power plant in Healy and is meeting its reduced emissions limits.
And if all goes well, the clean coal plant would also be a major customer for Usibelli, Healy's biggest employer. The clean coal technology is designed to burn waste coal from Usibelli. This coal has a high ash content and wouldn't be suitable for other customers, says Becki Phipps, Usibelli spokesperson. Once it's operational, the plan is expected to use 350,000 tons of coal annually, accounting for four or five jobs to Usibelli rosters. Usibelli's current coal production sits at 1 million to 1.5 million tons annually, Phipps says.
If the technology pans out, it could open new markets for Alaska's abundant low-sulfur, low-energy coal. With its location near growing, energy starved Pacific Rim Pacific Rim, term used to describe the nations bordering the Pacific Ocean and the island countries situated in it. In the post–World War II era, the Pacific Rim has become an increasingly important and interconnected economic region. economies, Alaska is poised to fill the markets if clean coal technology spreads across the Pacific Ocean.
Closer to home, the project would have a more immediate effect. "A 54-megawatt plant is a substantial amount of energy, using a local resource: coal," Abegg says. "We would have a new source of energy. A clean source of energy for 80,000 people in Interior Alaska."
The project should provide an economic alternative to oil-fired and gas-fired long-term power supplies, if all goes well. "I see a light at the end of the tunnel, but it's a long tunnel," Abegg says.