Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Tue, May 17

Kayenta Chapter secures grant to power 24 homes with solar energy; part of a five-year energy plan

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez, Indian Energy Director Wahleah Johns and U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm recently announced a $1.2 million grant for a solar microgrid in Kayenta, Arizona. (Photo/OPVP)

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez, Indian Energy Director Wahleah Johns and U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm recently announced a $1.2 million grant for a solar microgrid in Kayenta, Arizona. (Photo/OPVP)

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez commended the Kayenta community for securing a federal grant to power 24 homes using solar energy, part of a five-year goal to provide water, electricity and septic tanks to 100 percent of Kayenta residents.

Nez joined Kayenta chapter officials, Council Delegate Nathaniel Brown, U.S. Office of Indian Energy Director Wahleah Johns and Congressman Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ) as they announced nearly $9 million energy funding awards to 13 tribal nations, including a nearly $1.2 million grant award to construct a solar microgrid and battery storage to provide clean electricity for 24 homes in Kayenta, Arizona. on the Navajo Nation.

Kayenta Chapter partnered with the University of Utah, New Sun Road, BoxPower, and Diné Energy to establish an autonomous solar-based microgrid to electrify the 24 homes located in the Comb Ridge/El Capitan communities in Kayenta, and offer internet connectivity.

The total cost of the project is estimated to be $2.8 million and will also be supported with additional funding from the Navajo Nation.

“Congratulations to all of the tribal nations who were awarded clean energy funding through the U.S. Department of Energy,” Nez said. “Kayenta has led the way for renewable energy development with the Kayenta Solar I and II generation facility, which generates over 55 megawatts of solar power. This will improve the quality of life for the 24 multi-generational homes that will receive electricity through this funding award.”

Nez said the Kayenta Chapter was an inspiration to the Navajo people and he thanked Kayenta Chapter President Dalton Singer, U.S. Energy Sec. Jennifer Granholm, O’Halleran and the Biden-Harris administration.

Nez also highlighted the Hayoołkaał or Sunrise proclamation issued by the Nez-Lizer administration in 2019, which created a new economic vision for the Navajo people through healing the land, fostering clean energy development, and providing leadership for the energy market for the Navajo people. Since then, the Navajo Nation has taken steps to transition from fossil fuel development to renewable energy.

“The Navajo Nation is striving to be a renewable energy leader nationwide. We want to be able to electrify more homes and communities on the Navajo Nation, and expand those efforts into other communities and industries in the Southwest,” Nez said.

During the March 21 virtual announcement, Granholm spoke about the Biden-Harris administration’s vision for clean energy development, adding that the 14 projects funded for the 13 tribal nations will harness solar, hydro and geothermal energy resources and create jobs and provide essential services such as electricity and heating for families who never had such amenities before.

Brown praised the work of Kayenta Chapter and its partners who developed the grant proposal over the course of several years. He also described the field work and data gathering conducted by former and current Kayenta leaders.

“Because of them this is possible,” he said.

More information on the full list of awards is available at https://www.energy.gov/indianenergy/articles/us-department-energy-awards-9-million-tribal-communities-enhance-energy.

Information provided by OPVP

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