Navajo Have Potential Buyer For Navajo Generating Station

September 28, 2017
Laurel Morales/KJZZ
One of the Navajo Generating Station's three 750-megawatt generators.

Navajo leaders say the tribe has a potential buyer for its coal-fired power plant in northern Arizona. It’s set to retire in two years unless a new owner can be found by Oct. 1.

A spokesman for the tribe says a task force is still reviewing potential buyers but could not say who they were. Salt River Project set the Oct. 1 deadline.

The current plant owners, including SRP, say they will run the Navajo Generating Station until 2019 and then the utilities plan to switch to natural gas because it has become so much cheaper than coal.

One analyst says to keep the plant operating the next five years would cost as much as $1 billion.

Both the Navajo and the Hopi tribes have relied economically on the coal industry for decades. The largest coal-fired power plant in the West has provided 750 jobs and millions of dollars in revenue each year for the tribes.