By Ryan Randazzo | Arizona
With the only potential buyer backing out of a deal Thursday, the future of the Navajo Generating Station coal plant near Page, and the Navajo and Hopi economies that rely on it, has never been bleaker.
It’s now a lock that the biggest coal plant in the West and the mine that feeds it will close in December 2019, if not earlier, and there is no proposal from anyone to stop it and little hope it would ever reopen.
Middle River Power of Illinois and its affiliated New York investment firm, Avenue Capital, were considering taking over the plant, but they announced Thursday those plans would not work out.
The news prompted a desperate request from Peabody Energy, which operates the Kayenta coal mine on Navajo and Hopi land and will have nowhere else to send the shiny black rock when the plant closes.