From the Farmington Daily Times, by Noel Lyn Smith

 An entity of the Navajo Nation has taken its first step to generating electricity by starting a solar farm on 200 acres five miles north of here.

Navajo Tribal Utility Authority is the primary electricity service provider for the tribe and started operating the 27.3-megawatt Kayenta Solar Project in June.

Vermilion_Cliffs,_Navajo_Nation,_AZ_9-15_(21653911400)It is the first large-scale solar energy facility on the reservation. The electricity is sold to the Salt River Project for distribution.

Glenn Steiger is project manager for the solar farm, which is visible on the west side of U.S. Highway 163.

“With the Navajo Generating Station (a coal-fired plant) shutting down, that leaves a hole in power generation in this region. And we know that part of that hole ultimately will be filled with renewable energy, whether it’s solar or wind,” Steiger said in an interview during a visit to the site on July 6.

“By us constructing and operating this project, it’s giving us substantial experience in doing this, knowing full well there’s going to be more of this in the near future,” he said.

Each of the 120,000 photovoltaic devices, set in rows that run north to south, are mounted on single axis trackers that follow the movement of the sun.

“Wherever the sun is, that’s what it’s looking at,” Steiger said.

The solar panels are equipped to position flat when wind speeds increase more than 50 mph and there are two weather stations onsite that monitor wind speed, temperature, and humidity, he said.

Read the article here.

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