Navajo Nation teams with Arizona to develop solar energy projectSeptember 15, 2012
Alternative energy is often praised for its economic potential. Developing countries around the world have become fans of alternative energy because of the prosperity they could potentially bring through the creation of new jobs and the elimination of the practice of paying for power. This concept is just as true in the U.S. as it is in Africa, Asia, or Europe. A small, sovereign nation that goes mostly unnoticed, has been working with the Arizona government to develop a massive solar energy project that could help boost the nation’s economy. This system could be what the Navajo Nation needs to overcome some of its greatest challenges.
Large solar energy project to be built in New Mexico
According to information from the Arizona Governor’s Office of Energy Policy website, the Navajo Hopi Land Commission is participating in a 4,000 megawatt solar energy project that is expected to take root in New Mexico. The Navajo Nation has received more than $300,000 for its part in conducting a feasibility study for the solar energy project. The country has been examining the 22,000 acres of the Paragon-Bisti lands in New Mexico to determine if the project would be a suitable addition and would not disrupt the tribes living in the area or the ecology.
The primary focus of the solar energy project is to bring clean energy to the tribes living in the area and the Navajo Nation as a whole. The solar energy project would bring new jobs to these tribes and help boost the economy. The project also has the potential of making the Navajo Nation and local tribes entirely energy independent. Eventually, the system is expected to generate surplus power, which can then be sold to the U.S. for further economic gain.
Alternative energy may help tribes overcome challenges
Some Native tribes face unemployment rates as high as 50% and see little hope for economic growth due to their status and position in the U.S. Alternative energy may be the key to solving some of the issues that are affecting these sovereign nations and may provide them with the economic stimulation they need to beat poverty and drive down unemployment rates.