GE wins contract to help with restart of Healy coal unit in Alaska

General Electric (NYSE: GE) said March 18 that it will commission a reverse osmosis (RO) mobile water filtration system at the Golden Valley Electric Association‘s (GVEA) coal-fired power plant in Healy, Alaska.

The GE system will provide the plant with clean water during a planned outage to upgrade the plant’s water treatment system and environmental controls and facilitate the start up of Unit 2. The total power output of the facility once Unit 2 is online will be 80 MW. The two-unit station is located approximately 300 miles south of the Arctic Circle. The GVEA Healy plant will require GE’s mobile water filtration system for approximately 90 days while work is being completed.

Unit 2 received clean coal funding from the U.S. Department of Energy when it was built in the 1990s due to its use of advanced emissions controls. But it operated only briefly before being shut due to mechancal issues. GVEA lately has been working out clean-air permitting and other issues related to a unit re-start with environmental control enhancements.

“Having access to clean water for our Healy plant is a crucial step in supporting our ongoing investment in upgrading our environmental controls and replacing older equipment to achieve a successful restart this coming summer,” said Lynn Thompson, vice president, power supply for GVEA. “This is an important, multimillion dollar project and GE’s partnership is key to maintaining uptime.”

“We are pleased that GVEA selected GE’s RO mobile water solution, which will provide the Healy plant with clean water needed during this planned outage and upgrade period, ” said Yuvbir Singh, general manager, engineered systems—water and process technologies for GE Power & Water.

The mobile water treatment system includes a state-of-the-art trailer containing various filter vessels and a 100 gallon-per-minute RO unit. The product water from the RO system will be further purified by ion-exchange tanks to attain the quality necessary for boiler feedwater at the plant. To minimize replacement of the ion-exchange tanks, the RO system was upgraded to include an internal product water recycling system.

GVEA operates and maintains 3,177 miles of transmission and distribution lines and 34 substations. GVEA’s system is interconnected with Fort Wainwright, Eielson Air Force Base, Fort Greely, the University of Alaska-Fairbanks and all electric utilities in the Alaska Railbelt, which extends from Homer to Fairbanks.

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.