The Navajo Nation is adding 27 MW of solar to its Kayenta Plant, part of 500 MW long-range goal #ActOnClimate

As the owners of the largest coal-burning power plant in the West map out the details of closing in the next two years, the Navajo Nation has taken its next step in its energy development by starting operations at a new 27-megawatt solar farm not far from the source of the coal that fuels Navajo Generating Station. The Kayenta solar project, owned by the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority and operated by First solar, is the first large-scale solar energy facility on the reservation. The electricity is sold to the Salt River Project for distribution. The project’s 120,000 photovoltaic panels sit on 200 acres and are mounted on single-axis trackers that follow the movement of the sun. It provides enough electricity to power approximately 7,700 households. The tribe entered a lease agreement with NTUA in 2015 for the location, a groundbreaking ceremony was held in April 2016, followed by six months of construction that started last September. The $60 million facility was built using a construction loan from the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation.

From The Durango Herald:

The second phase will produce the same amount of energy as the first – about 27 megawatts, or enough to power 18,000 homes. It’s expected to start operating next year.

The Navajo Tribal Utility Authority is financing the $50 million project through loans.

Tribal officials say they’ll sell the renewable energy credits to the Phoenix-based Salt River Project. SRP also will get energy equal to the amount generated at Kayenta.

The setup is similar for the first phase in Kayenta that went online last year.

The two utilities signed an agreement Friday to work together on future renewable energy projects, with a goal of 500 megawatts over the next five to 10 years.

Navajo Reservation map via

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s