March 20, 2019 Read More →

Navajo coal plant owners to move forward with decommissioning plans

Bloomberg Environment ($):

The majority owner of the West’s largest coal-fired electricity plant is “closing in on” awarding five contracts to start decommissioning the plant, and could be ready to award them in April, the owner says.

The Salt River Project, which owns 43 percent of the 2,250-megawatt Navajo Generating Station, also told Bloomberg Environment on March 19 that it’s not budging on its demand that any new owner absolve it of future cleanup liability. “Without a guaranty, there will be no progress,” said Scott Harelson, a Salt River Project spokesman.

The Salt River Project, one of Arizona’s largest utilities, must begin dismantling the Navajo Generating Station because the plant near Page, Ariz., is scheduled to close at the end of the year.

Those developments are putting pressure on the Navajo Transitional Energy Company, a wholly owned limited liability company of the Navajo Nation, to close its hoped-for purchase of the plant.

The energy company’s sense of urgency was on display in a March 11 letter to SRP’s board, obtained by Bloomberg Environment, in which the company called the sale of the plant “literally a life and death issue for the Navajo and Hopi people.”

The Salt River Project was unmoved by the company’s letter. “The owners’ position remains the same,” said Harelson.

More ($): Navajo coal-fired plant dismantling could start next month

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