Twenty-four community-owned public power utilities from across the country are sending crews to the Navajo Nation to power homes that have never had electricity.
The crews began work this week—and will continue through May 18—in an effort known as “Light Up Navajo.” This is a pilot initiative of the American Public Power Association to support electrification efforts by the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority (NTUA), the public power utility serving the Navajo Nation.
Of the 55,000 homes located on the 27,000 square mile Navajo Nation (roughly the size of West Virginia), about 15,000 homes do not have electricity. These represent 75% of all U.S. households that do not have electricity.
The Light Up Navajo initiative includes projects across the Navajo Nation to bring electricity to hundreds of households.
“It is shocking that in this day and age, there are still so many homes in the U.S. without electricity,” said Mike Hyland, senior vice president, engineering and operations, at the American Public Power Association. “The Navajo Tribal Utility Authority has worked hard in recent years to power 3,000 homes. Now, with help from the national public power community, they can do much more. We are touched by the support being offered from so many of our member utilities.”
“We are grateful these that electric line teams have volunteered to travel here to help us with our challenge to extend electric services to homes without,” said NTUA General Manager Walter Haase. “We are equally appreciative to their communities and families that have supported this effort to help positively change the standard of life for our families who have been waiting years for electricity.”