Southern California Edison to sell Nevada Mohave plant

Los Angeles Business from bizjournals - 1:41 PM PDT Monday

Southern California Edison and three other owners will not try to reopen the Mohave Generating Station in Laughlin, Nev., and instead will try to sell it, the company announced Monday.

Due to a variety of challenges, including clean-up and supply issues, the owners decided to sell it because added together the challenges became insurmountable.

With environmental and other upgrades, the company told media that it would take until 2010 at the earliest for Mohave to reopen, and an internal estimate is that those upgrades and a needed pipeline for a coal slurry would cost about $1 billion.

The coal-fired plant that was built in 1971 has drawn opposition from environmental groups because it is not using "clean coal" technology that makes newer coal plants pollute less, and it was one of the most polluting power plants in the United States until it closed at the end of 2005. The 1,580-megawatt plant capable of serving more than 1 million residential customers failed to meet a court-sanctioned consent degree to clean up the plant by the end of 2005.

The plant was also having trouble securing coal and water rights with Southwestern Native American tribes. During the 35 years it operated, the Peabody Energy Corp.,the biggest non-government coal company in the world, mined coal on tribal land in Arizona, crushed it and mixed it with water to make a slurry that traveled on a pipeline to the plant. The water involved came from the Navajo Aquifer in Arizona, but the Navajo Nation and Hopi Tribe said the plant could not continue to use the aquifer's water because it was being depleted. Peabody's mine closed when the Mohave plant closed.

Southern California Edison is the majority owner at 56 percent, or 885 megawatts, and operates Mohave for other owners including Salt River Project (20 percent or 316 megawatts), Sierra Pacific Resources Corp.'s Nevada Power Co. (14 percent or 221 megawatts) and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (10 percent or 158 megawatts).

Southern California Edison is a unit of Rosemead-based Edison International (NYSE: EIX).


published originally in the Los Angeles BizJournals 19 June 2006


Reprinted as an historical reference document under the Fair Use doctrine of international copyright law.