NGS is located on a site that is leased from the Navajo Nation. The initial term of the lease expires on Dec. 23, 2019. In addition to the lease, several rights of way were issued by federal agencies for both the plant and additional facilities, including railroads, transmission lines, ash disposal areas, water from Lake Powell and more. These agreements are set to expire around the same time.
Because NGS is sited on tribal land, the Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Indian Affairs and other federal agencies must approve or authorize the renewals to extend operation of NGS and all associated facilities beyond 2019. Also, a revision to the Kayenta Life of Mine Plan must be approved by the Office of Surface Mining in order for the Kayenta Mine Complex to supply fuel to NGS through 2044.
On Feb. 13, 2017, the utility owners of NGS voted to extend operations to the December 2019 end of its lease, if an agreement can be reached with the Navajo Nation. This would preserve, for almost three years, continued employment at the plant and additional revenues for the Navajo Nation and the Hopi Tribe. The decision by the utility owners of NGS is based on the rapidly changing economics of the energy industry, which has seen natural gas prices sink to record lows and become a viable long-term and economical alternative to coal power. Read the SRP press release.