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Legislation seeks to extend operation of northern Arizona power plant

This Sept. 4, 2011 file photo shows the main plant facility at the Navajo Generating Station, as seen from Lake Powell in Page, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — The Navajo Nation Council has been asked to approve an agreement between the tribe and the owners of the Navajo Generating Station to extend the operations of the power plant in northern Arizona.

Council Speaker LoRenzo Bates said he and Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye support having the coal-fired plant in Page remain in operation through 2019 and beyond.

The plant’s owners announced in February they plan to close it in December 2019 when their lease expires, citing the availability of less expensive power generated by burning natural gas.

The owners say it’ll take about two years to decommission the generating station, which means operations would have to end by the end of 2017 when teardown of structures would begin.

They want the tribe to issue a final decision on the proposed agreement by July 1.

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