Community

NTUA to host new effort to bring power to Navajo Nation residents

Based on the outcome of a pilot project that successfully extended electricity to 233 families throughout the Navajo Nation earlier this year, the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority (NTUA) will host “Light Up Navajo II,” with the goal of connecting 300 families to the power grid.

Public power utility crews earlier this year connected more than 200 Navajo Nation families as part of a mutual aid initiative by the NTUA and the American Public Power Association to provide electricity to thousands of Navajo homes.

The Association teamed up with NTUA to launch a pilot program called “Light Up the Navajo Nation,” with more than 130 volunteers from 27 utilities registered to be part of the Light Up Navajo pilot initiative. Crews from across the U.S. worked side-by-side with NTUA lineworkers as part of the project.

NTUA is now asking utility companies to consider sending their electric line crews to the Navajo Nation to be a part of Light Up Navajo II, which will begin in the spring of 2020. NTUA hopes to receive commitments of four line crews per week to assist with connecting families to the electric grid from April through June of 2020. The Association is partnering with NTUA in the launch of Light Up Navajo II.

“The Light Up Navajo Nation effort epitomizes the values of public power,” said Mike Hyland, senior vice-president of engineering at the Association. “When it comes to mutual aid, public power utilities stand ready to help each other in a wide variety of situations, whether it is in response to a hurricane or a project such as Light Up Navajo.”

A planning meeting related to Light Up Navajo II is set for October 1-2, 2019 in Window Rock, Ariz. The planning meeting will be an opportunity to learn more about the Light Up Navajo project, registration process, and project logistics.

“The dream of wanting electricity remains very prevalent throughout the region,” said NTUA General Manager Walter Haase. “We want to provide families who are still waiting for electricity an opportunity to raise their standard of living by receiving electric service. We hope our sister utilities will answer this call for help.”

Additional information about Light Up Navajo II is available here.

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