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Second Solar Power Plant To Come To Navajo Nation

The Navajo Nation is expanding their solar power plant and expects it to generate 27.3 megawatts of renewable energy by June 2019.

The plant, named Kayenta II, is the extension of the Navajo Nation’s first ever solar plant, which has been providing electricity for 18,000 homes on Navajo lands since last May.

The Salt River Project will purchase the renewable energy credits from the plant to offset their use of coal and natural gas. However, all the power generated from the two plants will stay on the Navajo Nation.

“A solar facility of this size can exist and operate successfully on the Navajo nation, so Kayenta II is a testament to that and so we hope this will open doors to future solar facility development on the Navajo Nation,” said Deenise Becenti, spokeswoman for The Navajo Tribal Utility Authority.

The plant will be up-and-running by May 2019 and Becenti predicts construction and operations will bring 200 jobs to the region.

Claire Caulfield was a reporter and Morning Edition producer at KJZZ from 2015 to 2019.