WASHINGTON — Deenise Becenti remembers watching a Navajo woman who had been waiting for more than 20 years to get electricity in her home flip the switch to turn on the lights for the first time this summer.
“She had a whole lot of happy tears,” said Becenti, spokeswoman for the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority. “It was a very humble day because you knew that she had been waiting for ‘the day’ for a very long time.”
“The day” was made possible by the Kayenta Solar Project, the first large-scale solar farm on the Navajo Reservation and the largest tribally owned renewable power plant in the country. The 27.3-megawatt plant, which went on line last summer, now generates enough power for 18,000 homes on Navajo lands.