Alaska university to install two coal- and biomass-fired boilers

The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) is taking public comment until Oct. 21 on its preliminary decision to approve the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ (UAF’s) plan to swap in two new boilers for two old coal boilers.

The university is seeking an Air Quality Control Construction Permit for its Combined Heat and Power Plant (CHPP). ADEC intends to incorporate the construction permit into the Title V renewal operating permit.

UAF intends to replace two existing coal-fired boilers with two dual fuel-fired (coal and biomass) circulating fluidized bed boilers, each sized at 185 MMBtu/hr. UAF is also requesting authorization to install and operate one cooling tower, and associated equipment at the Campus Power Plant (CPP).

The university’s facilities consist of the following emission units:

  • Two coal-fired boilers (EUs 1 and 2) installed in 1962 at the Combined Heat and Power Plant.
  • Two diesel-fired boilers (EUs 3 and 4) installed in 1970 and 1987 at the Combined Heat and Power Plant.
  • Two 125 kW diesel-fired emergency generators (EUs 6 and 7) installed in 1968 at the Arctic Health Research Building.
  • An incinerator (EU 9A) installed in 2006 at the Biological Research and Diagnostics (BiRD) building. This incinerator replaced an older unit originally installed in 1982.
  • Three diesel-fired boilers (EUs 19 through 21) installed in 2004 at the BiRD building. They are limited to 19,650 combined operating hours per rolling 12-month period and required to combust ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD).
  • A diesel-fired generator engine (EU 27) to be installed at the Alaska Center for Energy and Power (ACEP). This engine is rated at 500 horsepower. A permit issued in 2013 authorized the installation of this emission unit.
About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.