/ Modified sep 25, 2018 12:42 p.m.

Hopis Asking Feds to Explore Other Options for Power Plant

The tribe's economy relies heavily on coal, which powers the Navajo Generating Station.

Navajo Generating Station sign The Navajo Generating Station, April 2018.
Vanessa Barchfield, AZPM

KYKOTSMOVI, Ariz. — Hopi tribal officials are asking the federal government to intervene to save the Navajo Generating Station near Page to avoid local economic collapse.

Two companies that were negotiating to take over a coal-fired power plant on the Arizona-Utah line ended the effort last week, saying the challenges were too great.

The 2,250-megawatt plant could close at the end of 2019.

That would be a huge blow to the economies of the Navajo and Hopi tribes: The Hopis rely on coal revenue for about 85 percent of their budget and the Navajos 20 percent.

Hopi Vice Chairman Clark Tenakhongva says the U.S. government must either continue to buy power from the generating station or provide the tribe with support necessary to avoid an economic catastrophe. He's asking the government to act without delay.

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