A giant array of solar panels near the famed sandstone buttes of Monument Valley has begun producing electricity for the Navajo Nation at a time when the tribe is bracing for the loss of hundreds of jobs from the impending closure of a nearby coal-fired power plant.
The Kayenta Solar Facility is the first utility-scale solar project on the Navajo Nation, producing enough electricity to power about 13,000 Navajo homes.
The plant comes at a time when the area’s energy landscape is shifting.
The coal-fired Navajo Generating Station near Page is set to close in December 2019, leaving a site that both tribal and private entities say has the potential for renewable energy development.
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The Navajo Tribal Utility Authority, which owns the solar plant, said the project advances clean energy …