Light Up Navajo III Partnerships Extend Electricity to More Navajo Homes | Navajo-Hopi Observer

CHINLE, Ariz. – Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez joined Navajo Tribal Authority officials in Chinle, Ariz., April 7, for an appreciation event to recognize and thank utility companies who participate in the NTUA’s “Light Up Navajo III” initiative to extend power lines to provide electricity for more Navajo families.

American Public Power Association President and CEO Joy Ditto and SRP Senior Manager for Distribution System Services Wayne Wisdom were also on hand to support – both utility companies are part of initiative.

The Light Up Navajo initiative began in 2019 and connected 230 homes to the power grid in the first year, improving the quality of life for many families who now enjoy modern conveniences such as heating, air conditioning, reliable lighting and refrigerated foods.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Light Up Navajo effort was put on hold, however, NTUA was able to connect 737 homes to the power grid using CARES Act funds in 2020.

As of April, NTUA hosted 17 companies and utility organizations from 11 states, including Arkansas, Arizona, Delaware, California, Connecticut, North Carolina, New Mexico, Ohio, Washington, Texas, Utah and Washington DC to begin working towards the goal of connecting 300 homes in 10 weeks. As of Thursday, 14 homes have been connected so far.

“The Light Up Navajo initiative has proven to be a success and contributes to the long-term vision and sustainability of our nation – it’s about building a nation so that our future generations will have strong and thriving communities on to rely on for the future,” Nez said. “NTUA employees were in communities at the height of the pandemic, day in and day out, working long hours to provide more water, electricity and broadband services to our people – they have made a difference in the lives of many of our people. I pray that we will continue to build on the success that has been built through the hard work of many, who are working to make our nation stronger.

Nez also acknowledged and thanked Council Delegate Eugene Tso for his support and leadership.

During the event, families who recently received electricity were also present and shared their personal experiences and the challenges they faced during many years without electricity. They also offered their sincere appreciation to utility workers and the Navajo Nation.

“We congratulate the families and thank them for their heartfelt words and appreciation,” Nez said. “Working together is the way things are done and the NTUA and the American Public Power Association (APPA) have demonstrated this through the successful electrification of hundreds of homes for Navajo families through Light Up Navajo.

Nez said that with the leadership of the Navajo Nation, NTUA continues to connect families’ homes to the power grid and the Nation is proud of the work done and looks forward to seeing more Navajo homes connected to the continued success of Light’s partnership. Up Navajo III.

He also noted that the partnership builds on the success of the CARES Act, which provided 737 Navajo families with electricity, more than 300 off-grid solar installations, 117 water upgrades and replacements, and sewage, 105 water cistern system installations, 30 water pipe connections. to homes, 139 broadband installations and upgrades, and four new broadband/cellular phone towers and hardship assistance.

Information provided by the Office of the President and Vice-President