Coal-fired plant's owners weigh options for its future


The SRP is owned and operated by many businesses including the Tuscson Electric Power Co., the Arizona Public Service Co., and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.   File photo

Owners of an Arizona coal plant recently voted on the future of the Navajo Generation Station's operation. 

“The Navajo Generating Station's plant's operator, the Salt River Project (SRP), has said closing the plant in Page near the Arizona-Utah line is a possibility because less expensive power generated by burning natural gas is available,” Paul Davenport with the Associated Press wrote on Tuscon.com.

Talk of closing the plant circulated among workers.

One of the options the voting members could have chosen was to “include asking the Navajo Nation for an extension of the current lease now set to expire Dec. 22, 2019 and keeping the plant in operation until that date before decommissioning it,” SRP spokesman Scott Harelson said.

The SRP is owned and operated by many businesses including the Tuscson Electric Power Co., the Arizona Public Service Co., and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

The plant is of high value to many surrounding families.

“The bureau uses power from plant to pump Colorado River water through the Central Arizona Project aqueduct system to farms, cities and tribes in central and southern Arizona, and a bureau official said it recognizes that the plant is 'an economic driver' for much of the state,” the release said.

By 2020, the plant is either expected to close or decrease operations.

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