March 15, 2021 Read More →

Arizona utility to cut output at Four Corners coal plant

Arizona Republic:

The coal-fired Four Corners Power Plant near Farmington, New Mexico, will provide less power to Arizona under a new operating plan, Arizona Public Service Co. said Friday.

APS owns the majority of the plant and runs it for other co-owners. The company has a pledge to move to carbon-free energy sources by 2050 and close Four Corners by 2031.

What is new is that one of the two generators at the plant will only operate seasonally starting in fall 2023, while the other continues to run year-round, according to APS.

The generator at the plant that will run seasonally will operate mostly from June to October when power demand is highest in the region, he said. The seasonal curtailment will reduce emissions from the plant, including carbon, by 20-25%, according to APS.

PNM Resources Inc. of New Mexico, Tucson Electric Power Co., Salt River Project, and the Navajo Transitional Energy Co. also co-own the plant. PNM has plans to transfer its share of the plant to NTEC in 2024, and the move to seasonal operations is timed to that deal, offering a solution to keep the plant open as one company exits its participation.

“The plant is absolutely needed as a summertime resource to serve the load,” [Jacob] Tetlow, [APS senior vice president of operations,] said. “It really is an exciting opportunity to put the plant in a more efficient position.” APS customers require a power supply of about 7,600 megawatts on summer days, and less than half that in the cooler months.

[Ryan Randazzo]

More: Coal-burning Four Corners Power Plant will cut back on operations, APS says

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