Cholla Power Plant

Coordinates: 34°56′25″N 110°18′01″W / 34.94028°N 110.30028°W / 34.94028; -110.30028
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Cholla Power Plant
CountryUnited States
LocationJoseph City, Arizona
Coordinates34°56′25″N 110°18′01″W / 34.94028°N 110.30028°W / 34.94028; -110.30028
Commission dateUnit 1: 1962
Unit 2: 1978
Unit 3: 1980
Unit 4: 1981
Decommission dateUnit 2: 2016
Unit 4: 2020
Owner(s)Units 1–3: Arizona Public Service
Unit 4: PacifiCorp
Thermal power station
Primary fuelSubbituminous coal
Turbine technologySteam turbine
Cooling sourceArtificial Cholla Lake
Power generation
Nameplate capacity1,021 MW
External links
CommonsRelated media on Commons

The Cholla Power Plant is a 1.02-gigawatt (1,021 MW), coal power plant near Joseph City, Arizona, United States. The plant is jointly owned by Arizona Public Service (APS) and PacifiCorp. The plant began operations in 1962.


The coal burned at the plant came mostly from the McKinley Mine, located east of Window Rock, Arizona in New Mexico, until the mine was closed in 2009 after its reserves being leased were exhausted.[1] In 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) notified Cholla that pollution controls were needed for Units 2 through 4.[2] Unit 2 was retired in 2016 as the cost to add pollution controls outweighed the benefits. The remaining units were to be either retired or converted to burn another fuel source by 2025.[3] In January 2020, it was announced that PacifiCorp would close unit 4 by the end of the year. APS announced that while a conversion to natural gas had been an option, it was no longer being considered. A proposal was put forth to convert a unit to burn biomass, however regulators at the Arizona Corporation Commission voted down that plan in 2019.[4]


The plant currently consists of the following units:[5]

Unit Nameplate capacity (MWe) Commissioning Notes
1 113.6 1962 Retirement scheduled for 2025
2 288.9 1978 Retired April 2016
3 312.3 1980 Retirement scheduled for 2025
4 414 1981 Retired December 24th, 2020[6]


  1. ^ Donovan, Bill (September 24, 2009). "McKinley Mine to cease operations in December". Navajo Times. Archived from the original on January 26, 2023. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
  2. ^ Randazzo, Ryan (October 13, 2014). "Plan emerges for fourth unit at Cholla Power Plant". Arizona Republic. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
  3. ^ Randazzo, Ryan (April 2, 2019). "APS will try to switch coal power plant to burn wood from forest thinning, possibly cutting wildfire risk". Arizona Republic. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
  4. ^ Randazzo, Ryan (January 7, 2020). "Arizona coal generator to close in 2020, while another given lifeline as decline of plants across West continues". Arizona Republic. Retrieved January 9, 2020.
  5. ^ "Existing Electric Generating Units in the United States, 2006" (Excel). Energy Information Administration, U.S. Department of Energy. 2006. Retrieved 2008-07-14.
  6. ^ Parsons, L (1 January 2021). "Cholla's PacifiCorp Unit 4 goes offline – The Tribune". The Tribune. Retrieved 14 February 2023.

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