November 7, 2017 Read More →

On the Blogs: ‘I Have No Idea Who Would Put Their Money Here’

Think Progress:

The Navajo Generating Station is facing a future familiar to many coal-fired power plants, struggling to compete with smaller, more nimble natural gas-fired generators, wind farms, and solar arrays.

“You know the old saying, ‘You make money if you buy low and sell high’? They’re buying high and selling lower,” said David Schlissel, director of resource planning analysis at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).

If the Navajo Generating Station shuts down, locals will lose some 800 jobs, both at the plant and in the nearby Kayenta mine, which supplies coal to the generating station. Facing unemployment rates upwards of 40 percent, the Navajo and Hopi tribes are eager to protect those jobs, to say nothing of the revenue the operation provides.

“The Navajo Nation is so dependent on the jobs and the revenue for their budget. It’s really sad because, looking forward, it just doesn’t seem to be a sustainable economic enterprise,” Schlissel said. “I have no idea who would put their money here.”

More: Embattled Navajo coal plant is a preview of what’s ahead as coal declines across the U.S.

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