- By Jenna Kunze
Today, Jennifer Granholm (US Secretary of Energy) visited Navajo Nation to discuss renewable energy and the future of the nation.
Granholm was joined in Kayeta by Rep. Tom OHalleran, (D-AZ), and Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez, Kayeta. Their conversation focused on the Nation’s recent $1.2 million grant from U.S. Energy Department to build a solar microgrid with battery storage to provide clean electricity to 24 tribal homes.
U.S. Office of Indian Energy Director Wahleah Johnsons, a member of Navajo Nation Council Delegates Nathaniel Browns, Jimmy Yellowhair and Amber Kanazbah Crotty, as well as Black Mesa resident Executive Director of T Nizhn n n not-profit organization were also part of this discussion.
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24 families in Navajo will be able to have clean electricity for the first time thanks to the hard work of the Kayenta community. Nez said that this remarkable achievement was possible because of the collaboration of the Navajo Nation as well as the Biden-Harris administration. This productive dialogue also included input and perspectives from the grassroots.
Granholm also visited Kayenta Solar which provides 55-megawatts (or more) of solar energy. This electricity will be used to electrify approximately 36,000 homes within the Navajo Nation. The total cost of the project is $2.8 million with additional funding from Navajo Nation.
Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer have supported additional solar facilities in the communities Red Mesa and Huerfano since their election to build the Navajo Nations cleaner, more energy portfolio.
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About the Author
Jenna Kunze reports for Native News Online, Tribal Business News. Her bylines have appeared on The Arctic Sounder (High Country News), Indian Country Today, Smithsonian Magazine, Anchorage Daily News, and Indian Country Today. She was one of 16 U.S. journalists chosen by the Pulitzer Center in 2020 to report on climate change in Alaska’s Arctic region. She was previously the lead reporter at Chilkat Valley News, Haines, Alaska. Kunze is based New York.