Chronicle of Lake Powell | 4,000 acre solar project proposed near Page
The LeChee Chapter of the Navajo Nation on Monday began discussions on the Navajo Nation Solar Power and Red Antelope Storage Project between Page and Kaibeto.
The 4,000-acre project is proposed on tribal land between Arizona Route 98 and the Black Mesa and Lake Powell Railroad.
The Navajo Tribal Utility Authority (NTUA) and the developer of the 8minute Solar Energy project are proposing the construction of a solar power plant.
According to the company’s website, 8minute is a California-based alternative energy company with 18,000 megawatts (MW) under construction and 2,000 MW in operation.
Native A + E, an organization that promotes growth and innovation through stories of planning, designing and building indigenous communities, says 8minute has experience on tribal lands, including communities affected by the closure of coal-fired power plants, including the Moapa Strip. Paiutes in Nevada and the Quechan tribe in California.
The name of the energy company is based on the time it takes for sunlight to reach Earth.
Northern Arizona has been greatly affected by the Navajo power plant shutdown and the COVID-19 pandemic. NTUA says the project will create training and education programs to support the construction and operation of the plant.
According to NTUA and 8minute, the proposed project would create between 300 and 600 construction jobs for 18 to 24 months, with up to 20 permanent operations and maintenance jobs for its expected life of 35 years.
The Red Antelope project includes a 400 MW photovoltaic solar panel (without mirrors) and a 1200 megawatt-hour battery storage system, according to 8minute.
The project will produce nearly 1.7 million megawatt hours of solar power each year and generate hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue for the Navajo Nation and local economies.
According to NTUA, the proposed site in the LeChee area is ideal for harvesting, storing and supplying solar energy. More information can be found at https://www.8minute.com/, https://www.native-ae.com/ and https://www.ntuasolar.com/.