Golden Valley Electric Association (GVEA) operates a two-unit coal-fired power plant in remote Healy, Alaska. The plant is located two hours from the city of Fairbanks and just 300 miles south of the Arctic Circle. The area is known for its long, cold winters, summer temperatures that hover around freezing, and year-round snowbanks. When GVEA decided to upgrade Healy’s environmental controls and systems, along with its water treatment system – all while bringing a second, larger power plant back online – it became critical that they find a temporary water solution to keep them up and running. GVEA approached SUEZ Water Technologies & Solutions for a mobile water solution that would allow them to continue operation of the plant, 3,177 miles of transmission and distribution lines, and 34 substations during the planned 90-day outage. The utility has had a decade-long relationship with SUEZ’s chemical solutions team and selected SUEZ, in part, for its large fleet of deployable mobile equipment and the technology to support ion exchange, filtration, and membrane separation, including reverse osmosis (RO) and ultrafiltration.
SUEZ’s mobile water filtration systems deliver water quality and quantity during scheduled outages and emergencies. Mobile trailer design allows for filtration, ultrafiltration, RO, and/or deionization. Systems can be customized to handle surface water, well water, seawater, river water, or waste-water. The SUEZ system delivered to Healy included an RO trailer containing various filtration vessels and a 100 gallon-per-minute RO unit. The product water from the RO system was further purified by ion-exchange tanks to attain the quality necessary for Healy’s boiler feedwater at the plant. Plus, to minimize replacement and shipment of the ion exchange tanks, which can be very costly, the RO system was upgraded to include an internal product water recycling system. Due to the plant’s remote location, a SUEZ representative was onsite 8-10 hours per day at least five days per week to address any issues that were raised.
SUEZ delivers temporary mobile water solution for remote Alaskan power plant.
Access to clean water was a crucial step in supporting GVEA’s ongoing investment and in the summer of 2015, GVEA successfully restarted the Healy power plant. By using SUEZ’s mobile fleet, the plant was able to upgrade its technology and restart unit two of their plant without sacrificing consistent performance.