Navajo go solar

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Sacred Power Inc. of Albuquerque has got its hands on half a million dollars of stimulus funding for off-grid power.

It has been awarded a USD500,656 grant through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to help bring solar- powered electricity into homes on the Navajo Nation currently without electric power.

The Native American-owned company has partnered with local Chapter Houses on the Navajo Reservation in New Mexico and Arizona to secure USDA grants to install modular hybrid Solar Photovoltaic (PV) power stations to provide electricity to off-grid homes.

“It is hard to believe that with all the technology that exists there are still people in our country living without electricity,” said New Mexico Senator Jeff Bingaman. “The grant awarded today will help bring renewable energy to Navajo homes.”

According to USDA, the modular hybrid power station combines solar PV panels plus controls, battery storage, and a backup small wind turbine or propane generator to provide reliable power to the home. The modular systems are built at Sacred Power’s Albuquerque plant and then moved to the home site.

Bingaman is the author of a law that authorized millions of dollars in federal funds to bring electricity to Navajo residents that currently lack service because of the high cost of extending electric lines in rugged, rural areas. The funds from that program, granted through the Department of Energy, are used to both extend traditional sources of power, and to implement renewable energy sources and other advanced electric power technologies

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