Update: Owners propose closing down coal-fired unit at Navajo plant

Navajo Generating Station Arizona close coal-fired unit propose EPA Salt River Project Los Angeles Department of Water & Power Arizona Public Service Tucson Electric Power Nevada Power

Owners of the 2,250 MW Navajo Generating Station in Arizona proposed closing down one of the units in order to comply with regulations from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The plant is jointly owned by the Salt River Project (SRP), Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, Arizona Public Service Co., Nevada Power and Tucson Electric Power.

In February, EPA required the coal-fired power plant to install emissions controls by 2020 to reduce nitrogen oxides (NOx).

SRP said installing one selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system on each of the three units at the plant would cost approximately $544 million. Costs could exceed $1.1 billion if additional equipment is needed to remove particles created by the SCR process, according to a release. According to the proposal, the unit would be shut down by January 1, 2020 and installing the SCRs on the remaining units would be delayed until 2030, but only if LADWP and Nevada Power give up their shares of the plant by 2019, and if the Navajo Nation chooses not to exercise an option to purchase a portion of the plant's ownership shares.

If the ownership situation turns out differently, the proposal requires reducing NOx emissions equivalent to shutting down one unit between 2020 and 2030. Under both scenarios, the owners could also opt to end the use of coal at the plant no later than December 22, 2044.

Comments on the proposal are due in October and a decision could be made after then.

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