Study: Closing Arizona coal plant could cost $18 billion

A new study from the Arizona State University L. William Seidman Research Institute projects that the closure of the Navajo Generating Station could have a dramatic economic impact on Arizona, according to the Phoenix Business Journal.

The massive 2.25-gigawatt coal-fired power plant is the second-largest power plant in Arizona, behind only the Palo Verde nuclear plant, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

But the current lease with the Navajo Nation expires in 2019. Given the coal plant's importance to Arizona's energy market, along with the thousands of jobs it provides, ASU estimates that the Navajo plant alone will contribute more than $12 billion to the gross state product between 2011 and 2044. The Kayenta Mine that supplies the plant similarly could contribute roughly $8 billion.

All told, the closure of the coal-fired generation plant would cost Arizona around 3,400 jobs and more than $600 million in tax revenue between 2017, when the plant would be forced to begin shutting down, and the end of the study in 2044. The total costs of the closure were estimated at $18 billion.

More information on Arizona's power plants can be found at PennEnergy's Research area.

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