Utility wants cost of additive added to bills

Posted: Sunday, December 30, 2001

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Golden Valley Electric Association wants its customers to pay for an additive that helps reduce sulfur dioxide emissions when coal is burned at its Healy power plant.

The charge, expected to run 45 cents a month per customer, will be considered by the Regulatory Commission of Alaska.

The association has been using the additive at its Healy plant for more than a year due to stricter rules from the Environmental Protection Agency, said John Grubich, the co-op's chief financial officer.

The regulatory commission wants to review the matter in depth and has suspended action on GVEA's request until June, said Agnes Pitts, the commission's spokeswoman.

The commission's staff said in a memo to the commission that GVEA should seek to contract with Usibelli Coal Mine for a better quality coal or use alternative methods to clean its air emissions.

Golden Valley estimates the additive plus freight charges will cost $600,000 for 2002. That translates to about 45 cents a month per customer on average, Grubich said.

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