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Navajo Nation solar facility expansion expected to double power output

(Photo from Salt River Project).

PHOENIX — A solar facility in Navajo Nation is expected to double the number of homes it can provide renewable energy to over the next year.

Navajo Nation broke ground on the second phase of an expansion project that will provide a 28-megawatt addition to the Kayenta Solar generation facility in northeastern Arizona.

Under the guidance of the Native American nation, Navajo Tribal Utility Authority and the Salt River Project, the facility is expected to serve 36,000 homes once upgrades are complete in June 2019.

“Extending electricity to homes without has always been our goal as well as our challenge,” said NTUA general manager Walter Haase. “Kayenta II is catalyst in that direction and will help us to improve the
standard of living for many Navajo families.”

In addition, improvements will pave the way to further advancements.

The groups will work toward projects that would provide 500 megawatts of renewable energy over the next five to 10 years, according to the release.

Additionally, the jobs and taxes from the project are expected to bring an economic boost to the nation.

The initial Kayenta project was estimated to have brought $15.6 million in economic activity to the surrounding communities.

It’s also attracting some star power.

Property Brothers co-host Jonathan Scott made an appearance at the ceremony, saying he is interested in seeing the impact of the solar energy on the Navajo people.

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