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Arizona tribes to benefit from shuttered plant

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 14, 2013 at 5:31 pm •  Published: February 14, 2013

The commission's order dictates that the money must go to the tribes for lease, rent, or royalty payments for renewable energy projects, or at least one of the tribes has to have a minimum 50 percent ownership in a project. The commission accepted the Hopi Tribe's proposal that one or both of the tribes have a 33 percent ownership stake in projects located off the reservation.

The money from sales of the credits will go into a revolving fund controlled by Southern California Edison to be used by developers to jump-start projects. The money must be repaid, eventually making its way to Southern California Edison customers but not until after 2026, the cutoff date for sales. Any unsold credits must be retired the following year, the commission said.

Southern California Edison shut down the power plant because it needed pollution-control upgrades to comply with a settlement with environmentalists, a new water supply and pipeline upgrades costing $1.1 billion. The plant that once supplied electricity to more than 1 million customers is expected to be fully decommissioned this spring, a spokesman said. A switch yard will remain at the site along the Colorado River.

Other plant owners included the Salt River Project with 20 percent, Nevada Power Co. with 14 percent and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power with 10 percent.

The tribes and conservationists did not seek revenue for sulfur dioxide allowances from utilities other than Southern California Edison, which held 56 percent ownership of the plant.