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Navajo Nation solar plant to be complete by 2016

Posted at 2:02 PM, Dec 21, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-21 16:04:04-05

The Navajo Nation's first utility-scale solar plant is on track to be built by the end of 2016.

The Navajo Tribal Utility Authority says the $64 million plant in Kayenta will be capable of powering an average 7,700 homes on the reservation.

The utility's general manager, Walter Haase, says the tribe will use federal loans and tax credits to finance the project.

Navajo customers won't immediately see an increase in their bills. That's because the Salt River Project has a two-year agreement to buy power from a natural gas plant the tribe invests in and will get credits to strengthen its renewable energy portfolio.

Officials say the financial terms are confidential.

The solar plant will create 100 jobs during construction and a handful of long-term jobs.