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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
2:32 AM Wed, Sept. 19th

Firm eying purchase of Navajo Generating Station

PHOENIX (AP) — A Chicago-based company said Thursday it is putting together a proposal to buy the coal-fueled Navajo Generating Station, a move that could forestall the plant’s scheduled closure in late 2019 and save hundreds of jobs and funding for Native American tribes.

Joe Greco, senior vice president of Middle River Power, on Thursday did not disclose a possible price for the plant or provide other specifics when he addressed the board of the Central Arizona Water Conservation District. He said his company could operate the plant efficiently and economically for customers.

The future of the plant on the sprawling Navajo reservation in northern Arizona remained unclear after the announcement by Middle River Power, a portfolio company of Avenue Capital responsible for managing its power plant investments.

But the hundreds of members of the Navajo Nation and Hopi Tribe who work at the plant and the mine that supplies its coal have been heartened that their livelihoods could be saved by the only potential buyer to emerge since the utilities that own the plant announced they would close it.

Greco spoke at a regular board meeting of the water conservation district, which uses power from the generating plant to operate an aqueduct system that moves Colorado River Water to cities, farmers and tribes in central and southern Arizona.

He characterized his company’s intentions as serious and said it was looking at options “to keep the NGS operating well into the future.”