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SRP explores cleaner options for a coal power plant in eastern Arizona

In 1975, Salt River Project began construction of the Coronado Generating Station in eastern Arizona.

It was a major employer and provider of electricity. But the coal-fired plant’s days are numbered.

SRP plans to close the plant no later than 2032. The utility has ambitious goals for reducing its carbon footprint and will launch a number of studies on how to shutter the plant with little economic impact.

That could mean converting the plant into a low- or no-carbon facility.

SRP is also working with local communities to get their feedback on the closure.

“We are definitely committed to supporting an economic transition,” said Kathleen Munroe, of SRP. “This is something that we’re seeing not just in Arizona but throughout the United States. So many of the rural coal communities are impacted by this shift to lower carbon portfolios.”

Options for reusing the plant include biomass, hydrogen-based technologies and advanced nuclear reactors.

Ron Dungan has lived in Arizona for more than 35 years. He has worked as a reporter, construction worker, copy editor, designer and freelance writer. He's a graduate of the University of Iowa, where he was a member of the undergraduate Writers’ Workshop, and has a master’s in history from Arizona State University.Dungan was an outdoors reporter and member of the storyteller team at the Arizona Republic, where he won several awards, and was a contributor on a border project that won the 2018 Pulitzer for explanatory reporting.When not working, Dungan enjoys books, gardening, hanging out with his German shorthaired pointer, backpacking and fly-fishing. He's a fan of the Arizona Cardinals and Iowa Hawkeyes.