EcoFlight captured drone footage of the historic event on December 18th 2020 when three massive smokestacks at the Navajo Generating Station were demolished, ending a chapter in the fossil fuel industry in the region. The demolition of the coal-fired power plant is both somber and symbolic. Many families depended on the plant for economic security. NGS burned over 1,000 tons of coal an hour for more than 40 years, emitting millions of tons of greenhouse gases and pollutants into the air. Until it closed the previous year, the 2,400 MW power plant generated electricity for Phoenix, Tucson, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and other cities, insultingly bypassing Navajo and Hopi homes and businesses left without electricity. The plant also pumped the massive amounts of water that have allowed Phoenix to grow into the fifth largest city in America, all while thousands of Navajo and Hopi homes also lack access to running water.
The event marked the start of a new chapter as work begins to clean up the mines that supplied the coal, secure water and electricity for areas that lack both, and invest in a sustainable economy for Navajo and Hopi communities.
EcoFlight’s footage was broadly distributed as the story made international news as a significant event for climate action and environmental justice.