Navajo Generating Station Has a Potential New Owner
Navajo Nation is in discussion with Avenue Capital and Middle River Power about continuing operations at the Navajo Generating Station.
In a joint press release, the Navajo Nation Office of the President and the Vice President and the Navajo Nation Office of the Speaker stated their support in continuing operation past 2019. Its current agreement is set to expire at the end of 2019.
Prospective owner Avenue Capital specializes in “distressed debt markets” by investing in companies in both public and private industries. Middle River Power, the prospective station operator, manages energy facilities in California, Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland.
The Navajo Times reports that the station and the Kayenta Coal Mine provide about a third of Navajo Nation’s budget, and nearly triple that for the Hopi Tribe’s budget. However, the station has a history of contention with environmental advocacy groups who have now asked the Secretary of the Interior to conduct an environmental impact statement prior to the proposed transition.
President Russell Begaye stated in the release that contracts have not been signed and negotiations are still taking place.