The proposed facility upgrade will provide a coal-fired boiler with a total capacity of up to 240,000 lbs/hr of steam and a steam turbine with controlled extraction ports for providing low-pressure steam to heat campus and produce 17MW of electricity. The boiler will be capable of using up to 15 percent biomass in the future. Biomass fuel storage and handling equipment are not included in the project scope, but the design of the equipment is being performed to allow for its addition in the future. The size of the facility is based on projected campus growth for the next 25 years. The only known upcoming growth is the engineering building. After completion of the engineering building, the model assumes a five-year low-growth period followed by steady growth of 1.5 percent.
The facility addition will be located immediately east of the Atkinson Heat and Power Plant and will connect to the current Atkinson plant and the campus utilidor system. It will also connect to the campus electrical system at the campus switchgear building. The facility will be approximately 100 feet tall. The existing Atkinson Heat and Power Plant will remain, but the two coal boilers, coal handling system and ash handling equipment will be decommissioned. The existing boilers 3 and 4 will be able to burn oil or natural gas and, when used with existing turbine TG3, will provide redundancy for the new boilers and turbine. The existing facility water treatment, condensate collection and treatment, and machine shop will remain in service. The Atkinson plant will continue to house UAF utilities administration, plant engineering, locker rooms and machine shop.
The proposed boiler will use circulating fluidized bed technology. This technology is more efficient and produces fewer emissions than the current stoker boilers. The CFB boiler will also be fuel-flexible and will be able to burn approximately 85 percent coal and 15 percent biomass in the future. If other solid fuels become available in the future, the CFB boilers would be able to burn them as well.