sale, restart dead
By Kathy Helms, Diné
Gallup Independent, May 23, 2007
WINDOW ROCK — Efforts to find a buyer
for Mohave Generating Station have failed, and co-owners
are now in the process of ceasing all activities aimed
at preserving and restarting the plant, Southern California
Edison announced Tuesday in its monthly report to the
California Public Utilities Commission.
"SCE is not aware of any intention
on the part of any of the other Mohave co-owners to
further pursue any effort toward a Mohave restart, and
accordingly SCE and the other co-owners are now turning
their full focus to the future reuse or other disposition
of the plant site," SCE said in the report issued
by Raquel Ippoliti, project analyst.
The 1,580-megawatt plant has been shut
down since December 2005, pursuant to a 1999 consent
decree which gave Mohave owners six years to install
necessary pollution control devices.
The consent decree was prompted by a
1998 complaint filed by Grand Canyon Trust, Sierra Club,
and the National Parks & Conservation Association
Inc. over Mohave's emissions.
"We can all breathe easier today.
It marks the end to last century's era of exploiting
earth's fossil fuels. Mohave was one of the dirtiest
and most profligate coal-fired power plants on the planet,"
said Roger Clark, Air & Energy Program director
for Grand Canyon Trust in Flagstaff.
"Renewable energy and efficiency
are the only reasonable and cost-effective options.
Thanks to Southern California Edison for making this
heroic decision," Clark said.
SCE decided in June 2006 to discontinue
its efforts to return Mohave to operation as an SCE
asset. Two other Mohave co-owners, Los Angeles Department
of Water and Power and Nevada Power Co., made similar
The fourth co-owner, Salt River Project
Agricultural Improvement and Power District (SRP), then
undertook efforts to assemble a new ownership group
that would include SRP and others and would seek to
restart Mohave, but SRP discontinued that effort in
Since then, SCE has explored the possibility
of selling Mohave to new owners who might restart the
Laughlin, Nev., plant. However, as of May 15, SCE said,
it has discontinued this effort.
"Despite an intensive effort over
several months, SCE has not been able to secure a firm
offer to purchase on terms and conditions that would
be acceptable to SCE, and SCE has reluctantly concluded
that there is an insufficient likelihood of doing so
to justify the time and considerable expense that would
be involved in continuing with the effort," according
to the report.
Besides the direct costs of the sale
effort itself, which has included the assistance of
outside professional advisers, "certain terms and
conditions insisted upon by prospective buyers appeared,
in SCE's judgment, not to be conducive to receiving
regulatory approvals and closing the sale promptly,
if at all, especially in light of current policies on
greenhouse gas emissions."
SCE and Mohave co-owners will cease
funding of the ongoing work of the U.S. Office of Surface
Mining and other agencies on the Black Mesa Project
Environmental Impact Statement.
SCE said it is not known whether Peabody
Western Coal Co., operator of the Black Mesa and Kayenta
coal mines, or any others will assume funding of the
Black Mesa EIS.
Co-owners will not pursue renewal of
Mohave's air permit or the Permit to Construct for the
required air pollution controls.
SCE now will review plant staffing
with the co-owners. While some on-site staff is expected
to be retained for safety and security, operation of
the Mohave switchyard and other purposes, SCE expects
to reduce the staffing level substantially from the
current 65 employees.