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Navajo Generating Station Owners Say Time is Running Out for a Sale

Carolyn Beeler/PRI

The current owners of the Navajo Generating Station say there’s limited time for new buyer to finalize a deal. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports, NGS is set to close at the end of next year unless a sale comes through. 

According to Salt River Project officials, any agreement to buy the coal-fired plant made beyond the middle of this month would make a sale more difficult.

"You would need to negotiate a purchase of the plant from the current owners, you would have to negotiate a new lease with the Navajo Nation, you would have to negotiate a coal contract with the coal supplier, and you would have to meet federal regulations that would include at minimum an environmental assessment for the plant," says SRP spokesman Scott Harelson.

He says SRP hasn’t received any offers or even interest in the sale.

If a deal is eventually finalized, NGS could at least be temporarily shut down. Plant employees will soon leave and long-term maintenance projects would have to be completed.

SRP and other owners opted to close the plant in favor of cheaper natural gas-supplied energy. The shutdown threatens hundreds of jobs and significant revenue for the Navajo and Hopi nations.

Ryan Heinsius joined the KNAU newsroom as executive producer in 2013 and was named news director and managing editor in 2024. As a reporter, he has covered a broad range of stories from local, state and tribal politics to education, economy, energy and public lands issues, and frequently interviews internationally known and regional musicians. Ryan is an Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Public Media Journalists Association Award winner, and a frequent contributor to NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered and national newscast.
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