Navajo Nation May Lose Another Power Plant
The Navajo Generating Station isn’t the only coal fired power plant facing a possible closure. Last week the Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) said that it was considering shutting down the San Juan Generating Station near Farmington by 2022.
The San Juan Generating Station is currently one of two PNM controlled power plants located on the Navajo Nation, the Four Corners Power Plant being the other. Combined, the two Navajo power plants generate 42-percent of the megawatt capacity of PNM.
In a press release, Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye said, “We understand we are in challenging times where natural gas is impacting the numbers and ongoing operations for all coal-powered power plants. The four corners region will be severely impacted by the closure.”
Begaye also urged the power generation industry to assist employees in finding other jobs, should the plat close.
Based on a preliminary analysis by the Public Service Company of New Mexico regarding the future of providing customers energy, retiring the two remaining units at the San Juan Generating Station in 2022 could provide long term benefits.
According to Begaye, the Navajo Nation is aggressively developing alternative renewable sources of energy to generate electricity for customers in the west and for the tribe.
In the meantime, Begaye has been pleading with the Trump Administration to fulfill his promise to support coal and help save jobs at the San Juan and Navajo Generating Stations.
“We are asking the Trump administration and his support of coal be utilized to possibly waive other requirements that are causing the two generators of San Juan to close in 2017,” said President Begaye. “These requirements impact both the San Juan Power Plant and the Navajo Generating Station. The waiver of these requirements will help us maintain these jobs.”