KYKOTSMOVI VILLAGE, AZ – The Economic Development Administration has awarded funding to Hopi Utilities Corporation to support the tribe’s transition to a clean energy economy focused on workforce development and quality jobs on the reservation.
When the Navajo Generating Station (NGS) closed in 2019, it left the Hopi Tribe in economic distress. The tribe received payments for supplying coal to the NGS, representing 85 percent of Hopi’s revenue. When these payments and jobs vanished, it left the tribe in dire need for economic development. Today, Hopi is rebuilding its economy with renewable energy.
“We are honored to have been selected by the Economic Development Administration as a finalist for the Build Back Better Regional Challenge,” said Hopi Tribal Chairman Timothy Nuvangyaoma. “This represents an enormous opportunity for Hopi to rewrite our energy history by investing in a brighter future for our tribal members.”
The coalition is led by the Hopi Utility Corporation (HUC) and aims to invest in a large-scale solar project that can fill the void of lost revenues and jobs related to the NGS closure while mitigating climate change by creating clean energy.
“The Hopi Tribe is now seeking Phase 2 funding of up to $100 million to support project implementation,” said Carroll Onsae, Hopi Utility Corporation President. “This is truly a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the tribe to write a new chapter in its energy story.”
If provided an implementation grant, the solar project proposes to support the growth and enhancement of HUC and Hopi Telecommunications, Inc., as well as provide technical training for tribal members to obtain good-paying jobs. The coalition also proposes to carry out three additional projects, which include a workforce development program tied to the construction of the solar project; a planning effort to strengthen the Hopi’s organizational capacity to build future infrastructure projects; and several smaller-scale infrastructure projects focused on reliability, resilience, and supporting new business development across Hopi villages.