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Friday, June 26, 2009

HOM: Page 3

  • Navajo Generating Station (2,250 Megawatts (MW)) was built between 1969 and 1976. Three units are located near Page, Arizona next to Lake Powell, which is the second largest man-made reservoir in the United States when full. The facility is located on the Navajo Reservation and the owners are Salt River Project, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Arizona Public Service, Nevada Power Company, and Tucson Electric Power Company.
  • Some of the allocated power from this facility is used to pump Colorado River water from Lake Havasu (230 air miles south) for the Central Arizona Project (Metro Phoenix and Tucson). The coal is stripped mined by Peabody Coal Company from Black Mesa on the Navajo and Hopi Indian reservations and delivered by a conveyor belt system and electric train that crosses the Rainbow Plateau.
Don started out inside the plant, then switched to the catenary railroad -- locomotives driven by electric motors supplied by overhead 50,000 volt lines -- fulfilling a childhood ambition of being an engineer and having a BIG electric train. Coal travels from the Kayenta mine on Black Mesa via a 17 mile long, elevated conveyor belt to a large silo, where it is stored and loaded onto rail cars, on the only railway on the Navajo reservation. The 78 mile long private railway connects directly to the power plant, and its only traffic are the coal trains. Three electric-powered, 80-car trains deliver coal to the plant every day. His work shift consisted of hooking the 80+ coal cars to the locomotives, hauling them the 78 miles out to the end of the conveyor by Black Mesa, filling the cars, then running back to Page and dumping the coal out. Hard at work: Here is a photo essay and some hard facts on the Black Mesa & Lake Powell RR where he worked. TBC (Me) (Blacktail Books)