KAYENTA, AZ – Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez welcomed U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm and Congressman Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ) to Kayenta, AZ, for a roundtable discussion about the Navajo Nation’s renewable energy future, including a recent $1.2 million grant award from the U.S. Energy Department to construct a solar microgrid and battery storage to provide clean electricity for 24 homes.
The meeting marked Secretary Granholm’s second visit to the Navajo Nation since being appointed by U.S. President Biden. U.S. Office of Indian Energy Director Wahleah Johns, a member of the Navajo Nation, Council Delegates Nathaniel Brown, Jimmy Yellowhair, and Amber Kanazbah Crotty, and Black Mesa resident and Executive Director of the Tó Nizhóní Ání non-profit organization were also part of the roundtable.
“It’s an honor to welcome Secretary Granholm and Congressman O’Halleran to the Navajo Nation once again, as we continue to partner on renewable energy initiatives,” said President Nez. “Through the hard work of the Kayenta community, 24 Navajo families will have clean electricity in their homes for the very first time. This is a remarkable achievement thanks to the collaboration of the Navajo Nation and the Biden-Harris Administration. This very productive dialogue also included perspectives and input from the grassroots level.”
In August of last year, President Nez also welcomed Secretary Granholm to the Navajo community of Nenahnezad, NM, to review several renewable energy proposals. On March 21, the U.S. Energy Department announced the $1.2 million grant developed by the Kayenta Chapter in partnership with the University of Utah, New Sun Road, BoxPower, and Diné Energy.
President Nez also accompanied Secretary Granholm as they visited the site of the Kayenta Solar facility that provides over 55-megawatts of solar energy that electrifies approximately 36,000 homes on the Navajo Nation. The Secretary also visited the 24 homes located in the Comb Ridge/El Capitan communities in Kayenta. The project’s total cost is estimated to be $2.8 million, with additional funding from the Navajo Nation.
Since taking office, President Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer have supported additional solar facility developments in the communities of Cameron, Red Mesa, and Huerfano to build the Navajo Nation’s cleaner energy portfolio.
“Today’s visit from Secretary Granholm further demonstrates the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to the Navajo Nation and our people,” said Nez. “The future of renewable energy on the Navajo Nation is very bright. We appreciate her support as we move forward together.”