Navajo Nation to build wind farm in Arizona

The Navajo Nation has announced plans to break ground on a $200 million wind farm late in 2010 on ranch lands about 80 miles west of Flagstaff.

If built, it would be the second large-scale wind farm in northern Arizona, following the construction of one south of Holbrook that is smaller.

The Navajo Nation, Foresight Wind Energy and Edison Mission Energy propose to build a 48-turbine array by December 2011, and to sell the electricity produced from the wind farm in Arizona.

The wind farm is proposed for the Big Boquillas Ranch, which stretches from the very windy Aubrey Cliffs northwest of Seligman to an area west of Valle and south of the Grand Canyon.

The utility called it a first large wind project for the Navajo Nation, and the first large-scale wind farm in the United States to be developed and have majority ownership by a Native American tribe.

“This is historic,” NTUA General Manager Walter W. Haase said, via a statement. “For the first time, the Navajo Nation is a majority owner of an energy project that will introduce a new economy to the Navajo Nation for the benefit of the Navajo people.”

There still are plenty of hogans that could use electricity; though, solar power makes more sense for families and clans as widely scattered as they are in the Navajo Nation.

And the operative words always are “if built”? That’s just personal experience living on the res talking.

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