Navajo Energy Company Criticized For A Lack Of Renewable Investment

By Lauren Gilger
Published: Thursday, October 10, 2019 - 11:56am
Updated: Thursday, October 10, 2019 - 12:03pm

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Navajo Generating Station
Laurel Morales/KJZZ
One of the Navajo Generating Station's three 750-megawatt generators.

The Navajo Transitional Energy Company — or NTEC — purchased three bankrupt coal mines in Wyoming and Montana this week. It’s a move that’s been met with criticism from some who want the Navajo-owned company to move toward renewable energy — and away from coal.

NTEC is a for-profit company that was created in 2013 by the tribal government to purchase Navajo mine, the sole mine that feeds fuel to the Four Corners Power Plant in Northwestern New Mexico.

In their charter papers, the Navajo government placed language that states it has to invest into renewables, according to Erny Zah, the company’s director of communications. That’s a task he said they complete through community programs that bolster renewables.

But, at the end of the day, Zah said their money is made from selling coal, and insists buying these three mines out of bankruptcy is a good investment.

The Show spoke with him and asked him why.

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