State delays permits for Healy Clean Coal project

September 22, 2010 

FAIRBANKS -- Alaska regulators have delayed their planned request for federal government permits for the Healy Clean Coal project.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported the decision came Tuesday, on the next-to-last day of a 45-day federal review of the plan.

Golden Valley Electric Association of Fairbanks needs the permit to restart and operate the long-dormant experimental coal-fired power plant near Healy.

Alaska Division of Air Quality officials say they will resubmit the proposal within a couple of months to cover operations of the 50-megawatt plant.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials suggested last winter they might call for a rigorous permit review, because the plant hasn't been active for the past 10 years. That, given the tightening of emissions standards since the plant's construction, could doom the project. Golden Valley wants to buy and restart the plant to cut customer rates and lower operating costs. The state and federal government spent hundreds of millions of dollars to build the plant, which operated only for a few months. They built it following national efforts to address acid rain through new technology.

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