- Arizona Public Service Co. (APS) says it will close unit two at Arizona's coal burning Cholla Power Plant and convert units one and three to burn natural gas in order to comply with EPA mercury and haze pollution regulations.
- APS believes the moves will be less costly than the estimated $350 million it would cost to retrofit all three units to meet regulations.
- PacifiCorp/Rocky Mountain Power, which owns unit four at Cholla, has not reached a decision yet on how to respond to the mercury and haze pollution requirements.
The decision follows APS's shuttering of three of its coal units at New Mexico’s Four Corners Power Plant, Salt River Project’s decision to close or curtail output at one of the three Navajo Generating Station coal units, and Tucson Electric Power’s decision to cut back on the coal generated electricity it gets from Springerville Generating Station, close two of its four coal powered units at New Mexico’s San Juan Generating Station, and convert one coal unit at the Sundt Generating Station to natural gas.
NV Energy has proposed closing all four units at its Reid Gardner coal plant by 2017 and will, along with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, sell holdings in the Navajo Generating Station.
Both APS and Salt River Project could incur costs in contractual commitments for coal to Peabody Coal but, according to APS, buying a minimum amount of coal until the contract expires still makes the closure and conversion a better deal than retrofits.
The EPA and Arizona Corporation Commission must approve the Cholla closure and conversions but they should not object, according to APS, because the plan is the most cost effective option.