By Ryan Randazzo | Arizona Republic
With no power companies willing to take the risk, the Navajo Nation on Friday said it wants control of a troubled coal plant near Page that is slated to close next year.
The facility is too important to the tribe’s economy to let it close, tribe officials said.
Salt River Project and the other utilities that own the Navajo Generating Station voted in 2017 to close the three, 750-megawatt generators at the end of 2019 because it is cheaper to buy power from natural gas plants.
But the tribe and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which owns a portion of the facility, have sought to keep it running. In September, the only seriously interested buyer walked away from negotiations and closure looked certain.
But the tribe says that’s unacceptable, as it would cripple the economies of the Navajo Nation and Hopi Tribe.
“It’s not over until it’s over,” Navajo Nation Speaker LoRenzo Bates said Friday. “We are going down the path to keep NGS open.”