Navajo Nation - Office of the President and Vice President
Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez welcomed U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm to the Navajo Nation on Thursday, as they met at the Four Corners Power Plant in Nenahnezad, New Mexico, to discuss the Navajo Nation’s current renewable energy initiatives and priorities. U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), U.S. Representative Teresa Leger Fernandez (D-N.M.), and U.S. Office of Indian Energy Director Wahleah Johns were also in attendance to offer their support for renewable energy initiatives in the state of New Mexico.
The discussion focused on the ongoing development of the Bisti Solar Project, which will be located in the community of Huerfano, New Mexico and produce as much as 100 megawatts of solar energy and a 100-megawatt battery energy storage system. President Nez was joined by Navajo-Hopi Land Commission Executive Director Robert Black, Division of Economic Development Executive Director JT Willie, Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency Executive Director Valinda Shirley, and Division of Community Development Executive Director Dr. Pearl Yellowman.
“Renewable energy is the future of the Navajo Nation. We are pleased to share that vision with Secretary Granholm, the Biden-Harris Administration, and the state of New Mexico. The Navajo Nation’s capacity to produce renewable energy continues to increase as we develop more solar projects. Early on in our administration, we prioritized renewable energy through the Hayoołkaał proclamation to create a new economic vision for the Navajo people through healing the land, fostering clean energy development, and providing leadership for the energy market for the Navajo people,” said President Nez.
In April 2019, President Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer signed a proclamation known as the Navajo Hayoołkaał or Navajo Sunrise, to create a new economic vision for the Navajo people through healing the land, fostering clean energy development, and providing leadership for the energy market for the Navajo people. Since then, the Navajo Nation has taken steps to transition from fossil fuel development to renewable energy.
“It was great to meet Navajo Nation’s cabinet, led by President Nez, to discuss opportunities to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy — one that creates better jobs, cleaner air, and most importantly betters the lives of its people,” said Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm.
The Nez-Lizer Administration continues to support the development of several Navajo Tribal Utility Authority (NTUA) solar projects in the communities of Cameron, Red Mesa, and LeChee. The Kayenta Solar facility currently produces approximately 55 megawatts of energy, which provides power for thousands of Navajo Nation residents.
President Nez also joined Sec. Granholm and Sen. Heinrich for a tour and roundtable discussion at the Pesco and Bayotech Hydrogen site in Farmington, New Mexico, which brought together county, state, and other leaders to talk about paths toward zero emissions energy development.
“The Hayoołkaał proclamation has set the tone for the Navajo Nation’s renewable energy priorities. We have supportive partners at the state and federal levels who we are working with to develop more projects that create jobs, revenue, and a sustainable energy foundation for our people. We appreciate Secretary Granholm’s visit to the Navajo Nation and we look forward to working together on renewable energy priorities,” stated President Nez.