Demolition work resumes at SRP’s retired 2,250-MW Navajo coal-fired plant

Decommissioning and demolition at the retired Navajo coal-fired power plant in Arizona has resumed, nearly four months after suspending the work due to COVID-19 concerns.

Utility owner Salt River Project announced a few days ago that decommissioning efforts on the onetime 2,250-MW facility restarted. Crews demolished the Unit 3 absorber pumphouse and the 10-story high limestone prep conveyor.

Contractor in charge on the Navajo Generating Station demolition work is Ohio-based Independence Excavating. The crew used connected cables to bring the limestone prep building down with seconds and on target.

Prior to the COVID-19 halt, Independence brought down the limestone handling building. Two weeks ago, it completed demolition of Navajo’s absorber maintenance holding tanks.

Meanwhile, SRP Investment Recovery is in the process of selling and shipping NGS tools, supplies and scrap. In coming weeks, the colossal rows of tall, heavy shelving in the cavernous NGS warehouse will be dismantled, packed and shipped to its new owner.

Environmental work by Clean Harbors, Inc., of Norwell, Mass., continues with asbestos abatement and fluids removal. 

Decommissioning is now ramping up following the COVID-19 suspension of work. Within a week or two, an estimated 100 more workers are expected to arrive.

Navajo Generating Station began produced coal-fired power generation in the mid-1970s, and was marked for closure due to economic and environmental challenges. The facility stopped making electricity on Nov. 18, 2019.

Phoenix-based SRP is replacing some of those lost 2,250 MWs with a combination of solar and energy storage capacity. These include the Sonoran Energy Center and the Storey Energy Center, which will combine for more than 300 MW in solar-storage combined capacity.

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