Officials said just before Christmas that it is seeking to solidify its position as a “leader in energy development in Indian Country” and gain more experience in energy production with its 7% interest.

It made its plan official December 18 by notifying operating owners the Arizona Public Service (APS).

NTEC already owns the Navajo mine, which supplies coal to the Four Corners facility near Farmington, New Mexico. It purchased the operation in 2013.

“This acquisition would enable NTEC to bolster Navajo Energy security and to be at the forefront of innovation and progress,” Board Chairman Steve Gundersen said.

“We understand the political climate regarding coal, so we view it as a short window to gain as much strength as we can to diversify our company’s energy portfolio,” spokesman Erny Zah added.

NTEC’s stake equates to about 107 megawatts of the plant’s output.

The interest it has sought was previously held by El Paso Electric Co., which said earlier this year that it was selling its stake and divesting from coal generation by next year, according to an Associated Press report.

NTEC’s purchase is pending approval and is expected to close by next July.