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LA Takes Steps Toward Navajo Clean Energy Partnership

Nez LA
Los Angeles City Council
Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez addresses the Los Angeles City Council along with council member Mitch O'Farrell.

The Los Angeles City Council passed a motion Wednesday to take the next steps toward a clean-energy partnership with the Navajo Nation.

The tribe wants to provide the city with 500 megawatts of clean energy. Los Angeles Water and Power has a month to complete a feasibility study of the proposal.

"We want to be the leaders in renewable energy in Indian Country," said Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez to the Los Angeles City Council. "And we are already moving forward on that path by creating a solar project on the Navajo Nation that generates 55 megawatts of electricity."

Nez and Los Angeles City Council member Mitch O'Farrell said the project is a win-win.

Los Angeles has committed to being carbon-free by 2045. O'Farrell said this proposal would allow the city to obtain cost-effective clean energy while ensuring environmental justice and economic equity to the Navajo Nation.

The tribe lost $30 million to $50 million in annual revenue when the Navajo Generating Station closed last year. Los Angeles Water and Power was a part-owner of the coal-fired power plant.

Laurel Morales was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2011 to 2020.