Navajo Chapter Plans Largest Utility-Scale Solar Farm on Tribal Land
27 Apr 2012
News Categories, Business/Finance/Economy
By ICTMN Staff April 27, 2012
The To’Hajiilee Navajo Chapter plans to establish a solar array farm on its trust lands, a flat stretch of prairie in central New Mexico where land preparation for the project is minimal, reported the Associated Press.
A 115-kilovolt power line already runs through the trust land site, leading to Albuquerque just 21 miles away, according to a presentation by Rob Burpo, president of First American Financial Advisors, Inc., based in Albuquerque, one of the consulting groups working with the To’Hajiilee. With no upgrades to the line required, energy transmission would be cost efficient.
Once a power purchase agreement is solidified, construction of the solar photovoltaic arrays could take as little as nine months. “I think if we’re able to find a power buyer fairly quickly, we certainly ought to be breaking ground this fall. That’s our goal,” Burpo told the AP.
The final selections have been made for the fiscal year 2011 Indian Community Development Block Grant (ICDBG). The Navajo Nation was approved for $4.5 million, which will fund seven infrastructure projects.