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Navajo Coal Plant Deal Coming Soon, Nation President Says

Navajo Coal Plant

Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye says a deal will come this week to keep a reservation coal plant open until 2020.

Begaye made his announcement Monday in front of dozens of happy coal miners.

Begaye spoke in Phoenix at the first of four public forums on the future of the Navajo Generating Station.

Begaye had said he and Salt River Project, one of the plant's owners and its operator, have reached a temporary lease-extension agreement.

The plant had been threatened with closure this year because the utility owners have concluded it is cheaper to buy electricity from natural gas-fired power plants.

Begaye says he hopes to find new owners to run the plant at least another nine years after the proposed agreement expires.