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Navajo Nation Launches 27-Megawatt Solar Farm North of Kayenta


Even as the Navajo Nation struggles with economic issues around the decline of coal-mining and coal-fired power plants, its Tribal Utility Authority has launched a 200-acre, $60 million solar farm north of Kayenta, Arizona. The Farmington Daily-Times reports the 27-megawatt Kayenta Solar Project is the reservation’s first large-scale solar facility. It began operating in June. The energy generated is sent into a nearby transmission line owned by the Western Area Power Administration. The Daily-Times says the Salt River Project is currently the project’s only customer. The solar farm’s project manager, Glenn Steiger, told the Daily-Times the project will help fill the void that will be created when the coal-fired Navajo Generating Station near Page, Arizona, shuts down in two years. And the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority plans to use revenues from the project to bring electricity to several reservation communities that are currently without it.

Gail Binkly is a career journalist who has worked for the Colorado Springs Gazette and Cortez Journal. She is currently a freelance writer as well as the editor of the Four Corners Free Press, based in Cortez.
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