Farmington, NM – September 12, 2023 – Navajo Transitional Energy Company (NTEC) is pleased to announce that our $2.6 million grant application with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED) has been selected. The grant funds will be used to accelerate our Light Up Navajo! Home Solar Installation program. As part of the $1 billion Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, OCED announced a $50 million Federal funding opportunity designed to support small community-driven clean energy projects that require between $500,000 to $5 million in Federal funding. OCED anticipated that only 10-100 projects from the nationwide pool of applicants would be approved for final funding. NTEC is excited to be one of the few projects that has been selected.
The primary goal of the funding opportunity is to “deliver measurable benefits to energy customers in rural or remote areas” according to the funding announcement. For the past two years, NTEC has been conducting a pilot program to install solar panels on remote Navajo homes not already connected to the electrical grid. After successfully installing 18 systems on Navajo homes, NTEC applied for this Federal funding opportunity to accelerate the number of installations that could be completed each year. NTEC’s application calls for 125 systems to be installed within the next five years with OCED funding 75 installations and NTEC providing $1.3M to fund an additional 50 installations. The home solar systems will be installed throughout the entire Navajo Nation with each of the five Navajo Nation Agencies receiving 25 installations. The program will cover the cost of the solar panel system and batteries, system installation including any minor electrical work necessary for the home to meet Navajo Nation electrical safety codes, and education in the operation and maintenance of the system.
“Not all homes on Navajo have access to the basic necessities of life such as electricity and running water” said NTEC’s project lead Yolanda Benally-Littletree. “The goal of this project is to increase the standard of living for Navajo families on the Reservation that have been left behind in the current energy economy. The installation of these home solar systems will open even more doors to other programs that bring additional improvements. We are proud to partner with OCED to move this project forward and assist 125 families in increasing their standard of living.”
This is NTEC’s second successful OCED funding application. “President Nygren’s support of NTEC’s initiatives on Navajo continues to have positive impacts on NTEC’s funding applications” said NTEC Chief Executive Officer, Vern Lund.
NTEC is an autonomous single-member limited liability company, organized under the laws of the Navajo Nation, which owns mines in Montana, New Mexico, and Wyoming. The mission of NTEC is to be a reliable, safe producer of coal, while diversifying the Navajo Nation’s energy resources to create economic sustainability for the Nation and the Navajo people. NTEC’s sole shareholder is the Navajo Nation.
NTEC is a leader in safety and reclamation and was recognized with the Sentinels of Safety award from the National Mining Association, the Safety Award for Large Surface Mine from the Rocky Mountain Coal Institute, and the National Award for Excellence in Surface Mining Reclamation from the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement in 2022. For more information about NTEC, visit www.navenergy.com.
Contact: Lauren Burgess