FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 6, 2017
LAKEWOOD, Colorado – The Navajo Tribal Utility Authority dedicated its Kayenta Solar Project, Aug. 24, in Kayenta, Arizona, after it was interconnected to the grid by Western Area Power Administration.
WAPA provided NTUA access to the bulk electric system through an intertie with WAPA’s existing transmission infrastructure in the local area.
“WAPA played an extremely important role by allowing us to connect into their transmission system,” said NTUA General Manager Walter Haase. “WAPA also allowed us to use our existing rights to move that energy from one location on the Navajo Nation to another location. That was extremely important because we have very small load pockets on the Navajo Nation.”
This access levels the playing field, allowing energy producers of all sizes to produce and deliver renewable energy to their customers.
According to Haase, the Kayenta Solar Project is the first large-scale Native American-owned utility plant in the United States.
“This new facility helps grid modernization,” said Administrator and CEO Mark A. Gabriel during the dedication ceremony. “It helps bring renewable energy to the grid, and it creates new economic opportunities for our tribal partners. Today really marks a step forward in those opportunities.”
Haase said, “This project would not have been possible without WAPA’s flexibility within our own transmission rates, keeping the project costs down so they are affordable to our customers.”
NTUA is WAPA's largest tribal customer.
About WAPA: The Western Area Power Administration is a power marketing agency within the Department of Energy. It markets and transmits wholesale electricity across 15 states with more than 17,000 miles of transmission line. WAPA’s customers include federal and state agencies, cities and towns, rural electric cooperatives, public utility districts, irrigation districts and Native American tribes. These customers, in turn, provide retail electric service to more than 40 million Americans. To learn more, please visit www.wapa.gov.