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Operations winding down at Arizona coal-fired power plant

FILE - In this Sept. 4, 2011, file photo, smoke rises from the stacks of the main plant facility at the Navajo Generating Station, as seen from Lake Powell in Page, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

LECHEE, Ariz. – One of three generating units at a coal-fired power plant on the Navajo Nation has closed.

The 2,250-megawatt Navajo Generating Station near Page is scheduled to completely shut down before the end of the year. It’s run by Phoenix-based utility Salt River Project.

Utility spokesman Jeff Lane says Unit 3 went offline last week. The other two units will operate full-time until the plant runs out of coal on site.

The power plant recently received its last delivery of coal via electric train from its sole supplier, the Kayenta Mine.

The plant has been operating since the mid-1970s on land leased from the Navajo Nation.

Its owners decided to close it this year because of cheaper prices for power made from natural gas.

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