November 30, 2017 Read More →

In ‘Challenging Transition,’ Navajo Generation Station Will Stay Open Through 2019

The Hill:

The coal-fired Navajo Generating Station has obtained the approval it needs to stay open through 2019.

The Salt River Project, an Arizona utility that partially owns the plant and is negotiating on behalf of the other owners, announced Wednesday that the federal Bureau of Reclamation and Bureau of Indian Affairs had completed their environmental review of the lease extension.

The plant’s owners, which include Reclamation, lease the plant’s land from the Navajo Nation. They had originally planned to close it this year, but the Trump administration and the Navajo Nation pushed for a renewal, and the other utilities involved agreed to it.

“A great deal of hard work from a number of dedicated individuals representing the Navajo Nation, the owners and the federal government made this important step possible,” Mike Hummel, deputy general manager of resources and finance at Salt River Project, which manages the plant, said in a statement.

“We are grateful for their effort as this agreement provides meaningful benefits for all involved and creates a path forward during this challenging transition,” he said.

The utilities involved with the plant are looking to close it, citing economic pressures like the low costs of natural gas.

But the plant, along with a coal mine on Navajo land that feeds it, provides more than a thousand jobs, mainly to Navajos.

The Navajo Nation is still working to keep the plant open beyond 2019.

Arizona coal plant to stay open through 2019

Utility Dive:

The largest coal plant in the Western United States will keep operating through 2019 after its owners received approval from the federal Bureau of Reclamation and Bureau of Indian Affairs to extend its lease on Wednesday.

The plant’s owners, including Reclamation and a group of utilities, had planned to close the 2,250 MW Navajo Generating Station (NGS) in 2018. The Navajo Nation, which owns the land on which the plant sits, voted to extend its lease until 2019, but needed final approval from the federal agency.

Arizona utility Salt River Project (SRP) and other owners still plan to shutter the facility after its lease expires, citing competitive pressures from cheap natural gas. The Navajo Nation and coal supplier Peabody Energy are working to find a new owner for the plant.

More: West’s largest coal plant to stay open through 2019 with new approval

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