By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via Arizona Capitol Times
A plan by the operators of the Central Arizona Project to look for new sources of power beyond the coal-fired — and possibly soon-to-close — Navajo Generating Station near Page is raising questions from federal officials.
The move comes as the Central Arizona Water Conservation District, which manages the system, is soliciting bids for electricity needed to pump the water from the Colorado River up through Maricopa, Pinal and Pima counties. District spokeswoman DeEtte Person said the bids on the table includes a solar project and buying power from Salt River Project.
CAWCD board members are set to consider the proposals Thursday.
But in letter late last week to the CAP board, Timothy Petty, assistant secretary for water and science for the Department of Interior, said that his agency, which through the Bureau of Reclamation owns part of the plant, believes a 1968 law “appears to authorize NGS as a source of power for the project.” And that, he wrote, means the board needs to answer some questions.