Usibelli Coal Mine

Aurora Energy Solutions

A Fairbanks-based company hopes to begin construction in a couple of weeks on a facility that will dry firewood so it’ll burn cleaner. Aurora Energy Solutions says the firewood kiln will be built in an industrial area near the old coal-fired Chena power plant that’ll supply heat for the kiln.

GVEA

Golden Valley Electric Association will close a facility that processes coal ash produced by the Healy 1 power plant within five years, because it’s been leaking more toxic heavy metals into the area’s groundwater than federal regulations allow. Golden Valley also will come up with a plan to clean up groundwater contamination around the coal-fired power plant in Healy.


Tim Ellis/KUAC

Officials with the University of Alaska Fairbanks and more than a hundred invited guests gathered Wednesday at UAF to celebrate completion of the $245 million power plant. The coal-fired facility will generate 17 megawatts of electricity and produce enough steam to heat the campus. It’ll replace the 56-year-old power plant that was becoming increasingly undependable.


KUAC file photo

Construction work on the University of Alaska Fairbanks’s new coal-fired powerplant is complete and workers are preparing for the first test of a major component by the end of the month. If all goes as planned, the $245-million plant should be fully operational around Thanksgiving.


Usibelli Coal Mine

Usibelli Coal Mine is turning 75. The operation in Healy started by Emil Usibelli in 1943, and run by his son, and now grandson, is Alaska’s only operating coal mine. KUAC’s Dan Bross reports.

KUAC file photo

Updated: Golden Valley Electric Association restarted and operated the boiler of its coal-fired Healy 2 powerplant for several hours during a test run Monday. The test re-firings resumed Thursday and will continue through August, when Golden Valley hopes to make the 50-megawatt plant fully operational.

Alaska Division of Forestry

State Forestry firefighters are working to contain a fast-growing wildfire near Healy that was ignited by two smoldering fires burning in coal deposits at the surface that merged together.

Tim Ellis/KUAC

The University of Alaska Fairbanks is building a heat-and-power plant to replace the old facility that went into service in 1964. The new $245 million powerplant, scheduled to come online next year, will feature updated technology that’ll reduce most pollutants – but it will continue to emit  greenhouse gases blamed for warming the planet. Many on campus say that conflicts with UAF’s leadership in Arctic climate-change research.


US Interior Department / US Interior Department

The operator of Alaska’s only coal mine is speaking out against a new Obama administration water protection rule for the industry. As KUAC’s Dan Bross reports, Healy based Usibelli coal mine targets the Stream Protection Rule as an attack on the industry.

Friends of the Stampede

Supporters of the proposed Stampede State Recreation Area near Healy aren’t giving up. Tonight the Denali Borough Assembly will consider and probably pass another resolution urging the Legislature to create the new rec area. Supporters hopes grew after a local official and Stampede supporter was elected to the state house last fall. But the new lawmaker says it’s unlikely to pass this session, because of state budget concerns.


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