Navajo Nation gets $1M federal grant to help power Arizona homes with clean energy

Mar 21, 2022, 11:30 AM

From left, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez speaks with Indian Energy Director Wahleah Johns an...

From left, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez speaks with Indian Energy Director Wahleah Johns and Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm in Nenahnezad, N.M., on Aug. 19, 2021. (Navajo Nation Photo)

(Navajo Nation Photo)

PHOENIX – The U.S. Department of Energy on Monday announced a grant of more than $1 million for a Navajo Nation project to power two dozen Arizona homes with clean energy.

The tribe will use the $1,185,409 in funding to help bring electricity to unpowered homes in the northeastern Arizona community of Kayenta through a solar microgrid with battery storage and a backup propane generator.

“This will improve the quality of life for the 24 multi-generational homes that will receive electricity through this funding award,” tribal President Jonathan Nez said in a press release.

“Congratulations to the Kayenta Chapter, you all are an inspiration to our Navajo people.”

The solar system is part of the Kayenta Chapter’s five-year goal to provide water, electricity and septic tanks for 100% of its residents. The total cost is projected to be $2.8 million, with additional funding provided by the tribe.

“The Navajo Nation is striving to be a renewable energy leader nationwide,” Nez said.

“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.”

The solar project will create three permanent full-time jobs and five temporary full-time positions, according to the Department of Energy.

The Arizona grant was part of nearly $9 million awarded Monday to Native communities nationwide for 14 clean energy projects.

“Tribal communities are imbued with knowledge and ingenuity around sustainable energy infrastructure and they are poised to help lead the country as we make an equitable transition to clean,” Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said in a press release from her department.

“With this investment, DOE is continuing its work with American Indian and Alaska Native communities to build stronger, more resilient tribal nations.”

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Navajo Nation gets $1M federal grant to help power Arizona homes with clean energy