News & statements
Stay up-to-date with the latest NGS plant news, statements and more.
Oct. 5, 2017
Bureau of Reclamation and Bureau of Indian Affairs issue Navajo Generating Station Extension Lease Environmental Assessment — The Extension Lease, approved by the Navajo Nation in July that provides the NGS owners the right to access the NGS site for retirement and post-closure monitoring occurring after 2019, requires approval by the Department of Interior or their designees. These approvals are considered federal actions and require compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and other environmental laws.
Reclamation and BIA have prepared and published an Environmental Assessment and a draft Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) to comply with NEPA. They are now available for public review and comment.
SRP supports the analyses described in the EA and the conclusions of the draft FONSI that the approval of the Extension Lease would not have a significant effect on the environment. The timely completion of the EA and FONSI are critical to assure that Interior could approve the Extension Lease agreements by December 1, 2017.
July 1, 2017
Utility owners, Navajo President sign NGS lease — Navajo President Russell Begaye and the four utility owners of the Navajo Generating Station have signed the lease and related agreements that were approved June 26 by the Navajo Nation Council. The signatures are a major step toward ensuring the plant continues to operate through 2019.
As planned at the beginning of the process, the only signatures remaining are from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) — which cannot occur until the BOR completes an ongoing Environmental Assessment (EA) — and from previous partial owner the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power. The latter must first receive approval from its city council. Both are expected to occur no later than Dec. 1 of this year.
"The owners of NGS wish to thank President Begaye and the Navajo Nation Council for their leadership and commitment in helping to determine a path forward for the plant that provides an appropriate and responsible transition for our employees and the Nation," said Mark Bonsall, general manager and chief executive officer of SRP, the plant's operator.
SRP, on behalf of the other NGS utility owners, negotiated the 35-year lease and related documents in good faith with the Navajo Nation Task Force, which included representatives from the Navajo Council and the Navajo President's office.
The agreements, negotiated over a period of many months and agreed to by all parties, includes $110 million in lease payments, minimum fuel purchase revenues assurances for the Navajo Nation of $39 million for 2018 and 2019, and valuable use of transmission from the NGS transmission station to sites off the reservation. Under the lease, the NGS owners also agreed that the Navajo Nation could retain additional assets associated with NGS, including commercial buildings, the railroad and the lake pumps system. The savings for not decommissioning these assets will be shared with the Nation and is more than $18 million.
The lease sets guidelines for retirement activities at NGS that will now begin after 2019. It also provides for long-term monitoring and ongoing operation of the transmission system on the Navajo Nation.
The four utility participants in NGS include, SRP, the plant's operator; Arizona Public Service Co.; Tucson Electric Power Co.; and NV Energy. LADWP is a past participant still responsible for their portion of the decommissioning.
June 27, 2017
Navajo Nation Council Approves Replacement Lease for Navajo Coal Plant — A measure to keep NGS operating through 2019 has been approved by the Navajo Nation Council. The Navajo Council voted 18-4 to approve the replacement lease and related agreements. Some work remains to address certain language included in amendments approved by the Navajo Council. The NGS owners are hopeful this can be resolved with the Nation by July 1 and that the plant will continue operating until the end of the current lease on Dec. 23, 2019.
May 24, 2017
Legislation introduced to approved extended operations of Navajo Generating Station to 2019 — Navajo Nation Council Speaker LoRenzo Bates (Chapters: Nenahnezad, Newcomb, San Juan, Tiis Tsoh Sikaad, Tse'Daa'Kaan, Upper Fruitland) introduced Legislation No. 0194-17 , which seeks the Navajo Nation Council's approval of an agreement between the Navajo Nation and the owners of the Navajo Generating Station to extend the operations of the power plant until December 2019.
May 1, 2017
Owners of the Navajo Generating Station and the Navajo Nation report Progress in Discussions to keep Plant open through 2019 — Officials from the Navajo Nation and the Salt River Project (SRP) report that negotiations for a replacement lease that would allow the Navajo Generating Station (NGS) to continue operating through the end of 2019, have been productive and that considerable progress has been made.
Feb. 13, 2017
The utility owners of NGS voted Feb. 13, 2017, to extend operations to the December 2019 end of its lease, if an agreement can be reached with the Navajo Nation. The NGS owners require a final decision by July 1, 2017. 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.
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