To’Hajiilee solar project is one of 19 energy projects that will share $6.5 million
Weekly Edition | April 28 | By: NP-staff
U.S. Department of Energy brings new hope of energy to Arizona and New Mexico Tribes, array of new energy technologies that will debut throughout the Navajo Reservation and surrounding communities of both states.
Bloomberg Business Weekly reported, the To’Hajiilee project is the largest utility scale solar photovoltaic array in the U.S. on tribal land. Legal expert in energy policy Doug MacCourt said “Once a power purchase agreement is inked, construction would take as little as nine months.”
Navajo President Ben Shelly has said in the past, the Navajo Nation is looking to ‘revamp energy policy that dates back to the 1980s.’ Erny Zah, the President spokesman said “Three decades later, energy production has changed immensely and so has our view of energy,” adding. “We’re looking now to become actual partners and producers rather than being dependent upon outside companies giving us lease fees and royalty fees. We’re looking to be a player rather than being a dependent.”
Currently, Navajo people that reside on the reservation have little access to resources such as power, water, and basic essential other household take for granted. Back in the 20th Century, some community members reflect on hauling water miles away just to cook or have clean drinking water.
Navajo officials are expected to debate the issue and come closer to a comprehensive energy policy, that is truly needed for the reservation.