Navajo Nation Finalizes Solar Plant Leases On Tribal Land

Apr 8, 2021

The Navajo Nation is moving ahead with two more solar power plants.

An aerial view of the Kayenta Solar facility.
Credit NNOPVP

They’re expected to generate millions of dollars in revenue for the tribe over their lifetimes. One is about an hour north of Flagstaff in Cameron and the other is in Utah near the Arizona border. The power from the plants will mostly go to utility providers outside the Navajo Nation. The projects will create hundreds of jobs during the construction phase. President Jonathan Nez says the solar plants are part of a move toward renewable energy for a tribe that has long depended on energy from fossil fuels.

It's the latest in a years-long effort by the tribe to focus on renewable energy. In 2019, the Salt River Project and the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority completed the second phase of the Kayenta Solar facility on the Navajo Nation. The 28-megawatt project produces enough energy to power about 36,000 homes.