Wally Haase, general manager, Navajo Tribal Utility Authority, spoke at the American Public Power Association’s National Conference on June 19, 2018, regarding how to pay for the electrification of the Navajo Nation.
“The secondary problem is how do you pay for it, right? You've gotta have some mechanism to pay for it. Even if people are gonna come and help us, you can't expect them to spend their money to get on a plane and come, or drive their trucks and vehicles, and then you've got to be able to put them up in hotels, you've gotta be able to do other things. We have been working on a couple of different approaches in this endeavor, and these two gentlemen are here to talk about it.
Over the years, we've been trying to figure out how we could create products and services that the rest of the world would value and would want, and do it in an affordable way that works between both communities. It can't be a one-sided event. We're not asking for a handout or anything like that.
“So, through the processes, we were able to come up with one business area or strategic plan that we felt comfortable in. It was renewable energy, because that fits in our cultural tradition and allows us to utilize our brands, it allows for a lot of good things. And I'm very proud to say that our first partnership ended up with us offered a project with the city of Phoenix — it's a local utility, public power and utility. And we built a 27.3 megawatt solar farm in a very small community called Kayenta. And I'm also proud to say that in January they signed an extension on that project to buy more power with it, and additionally, to expand it. So, now it's gonna be 55 megawatts, and the construction for that project's gonna happen later on this year. And I'm gonna talk about the specifics of it, because I want to try to wring this whole thing together.”