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Potential New Coal Plant Operator Offers Few New Details

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — A potential new operator of a coal-fired power plant on the Navajo Nation says it would run the plant at less than half its capacity to ensure it's economical.

Fewer employees, and a new lease and coal supply agreement also are in the mix as Chicago-based Middle River Power pursues a takeover of the Navajo Generating Station.

The current owners of the 2,250-megawatt plant near Page are planning to shut it down next year unless someone buys it. They say natural gas-produced power is cheaper.

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Middle River Power says it can run the generating station more economically, ensuring a steady power base. The company offered few other details Tuesday in a meeting before Arizona utility regulators.

Critics say the focus should be on renewable energy development, not coal.