Large-Scale Solar Farm Opens On Navajo Nation

By Carrie Jung
Published: Monday, July 31, 2017 - 2:44pm

The Navajo Tribal Utility Authority (NTUA) is now operating its own large-scale solar farm. Officials said when the sun is shining the new solar panels can put out about 28 megawatts of energy, which is enough to power 10,000 homes.

Plans for the solar farm in Kayenta, Arizona have been in the works for about two years. Right now, 200 of the planned 300 acres of the farm are currently operational.

Solar farm project manager Glenn Steiger said the closing of the Navajo Generating Station is leaving a hole in power generation in the region. He added that hole ultimately will be filled with renewable energy like solar.

"It gives NTUA a degree of reliability in that now we have our own generation on Navajo nation that can back up the energy that we buy from the grid," Steiger explained.

Steiger also said the project is supporting some local jobs, from building to operating the facility.

The Salt River Project will be purchasing the energy from the facility for at least the next year.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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