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Phase II of Kayenta Solar facility now complete

Kayenta Solar facility captured by drone.

The Kayenta Solar generation facility has been expanded by 28 megawatts and now produces enough emission-free energy to serve approximately 36,000 homes.

In September 2018, we shared that SRP, along with the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority (NTUA), and Navajo Nation leaders were celebrating the groundbreaking ceremony for an expansion of Kayenta Solar. The facility paves the way for future partnerships in which NTUA and SRP will work together toward the development of renewable energy projects within the Navajo Nation to support the Nation’s goal of charting their own energy future and improving the health and welfare of the residents of the Navajo Nation.

“We have come a long way to bring power and light to the residents of the Navajo Nation,” said NTUA General Manager Walter Haase. “This solar plant not only brings energy to the Nation but has been a catalyst to help us to improve the standard of living for many Navajo families.”

The post below was originally published Sep. 5, 2018.

Kayenta Solar facility is being expanded

Through the partnership with NTUA, SRP will provide technical support in developing interconnection facilities for large-scale renewable development within the Navajo Nation, as well as provide procurement and financing expertise related to the development and ownership of such projects.

At the height of construction, close to 284 people of whom 85% were of Navajo descent, worked on the project. It is expected that Kayenta II will employ a greater number of Navajo for the workforce.

During the construction of Kayenta Solar, the Navajo workforce was paid $5.2 million and received over 4,700 hours of specialized training in solar utility construction. The construction also generated $3,017,055 in taxes paid to the Navajo Nation. Overall, it is estimated that $15.6 million in economic activity occurred within the surrounding communities during the construction period.

“The second phase of the Kayenta Solar Project demonstrates the Navajo Nation’s commitment to a responsible transition to renewable energy sources,” said Speaker of the Navajo Nation Council LoRenzo Bates. “We are creating jobs and revenue from an emerging market, while remaining mindful of the associated costs, the time that it will take to transition, and other sources of energy development.” 

Looking ahead

Proceeds from the Kayenta projects and future renewable projects will help pave the way for Light up the Navajo Nation, a joint program between NTUA and the American Public Power Association dedicated to the electrification of homes on the Navajo Nation and creation of a better future for local communities.

Last spring SRP was one of 28 volunteer utilities that participated in the Light Up the Navajo Nation pilot project and has committed to participating once again in 2020. Through this effort, a total of 233 Native American families received electric service to their homes for the first time and the program expects to exceed that number in its second year.

“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.”

“This project represents a significant addition to SRP’s growing list of renewable resources and we are extremely honored to work alongside NTUA to bring this amazing facility online. We look forward to carrying on our decades-long partnership with the Navajo Nation as we pursue new opportunities together through the Kayenta Solar Facility and other significant efforts,” said SRP Vice President John Hoopes.

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