18-kW solar + storage project installed at Navajo Nation chapter house
Sunnova Energy International† Generac Power Systems and Powered by light (EBL), a San Francisco-based nonprofit, has partnered to bring a free solar and storage project to the Hard Rock Chapter House in the Navajo Nation.
“Our people have been against mining on our lands for many years and we are still feeling the effects of the mining. With this new project, we can finally switch to renewable energies and show our entire community the benefits and resilience of nature by using clean energy from the sun to power our daily operations at Chapter House, while fighting climate change said Jay Begay, Hard Rock Chapter House Chairman, Navajo Nation. “Our community relies on the essential services provided at the Chapter House as we live in a very remote area. The Chapter’s goal is to continually develop these services, and with the additional bill savings from our new solar + storage system, we want to do just that: expand and improve our resources for the people we serve.”
Fusion Power has designed a Sunnova SunSafe solar + storage system to meet the needs of the community. Sunnova and Generac collaborated to equip and finance the 18 kW solar system and the 36 kWh PWRcell energy storage system. The solar + storage system comes with a 25-year warranty.
“The Hard Rock Chapter House serves as a central meeting place for the Navajo community to come together and this project was an opportunity for us to make an impact by providing clean, reliable power while lowering their electric bills to help them.” reinvest the savings to strengthen their communities,” said Kelsey Hultberg, EVP, Communications and Sustainability, Sunnova. “Although Chapter House is remote, in times of need this system will play a vital role in ensuring clean and reliable backup power to the community for years to come.”
With more than 270 sunny days a year, the Navajo Nation is the largest contiguous premium solar area in the western United States, according to ScienceDirect. This abundant source of clean energy can power scalable solar installations such as the solar + storage system, delivering not only savings, but also promoting solar energy as a resource for education, workforce development, and cultural preservation.
A chapter house is similar to a city council where community members can gather for important meetings and access services such as hay distribution, free garbage disposal, faxing, printing, notarization, dirt roads and more. Instead of driving out of the reserve to complete daily tasks, residents can stay close and save money on gas.
“Approximately 14,000 Navajo families still live without access to electricity, so in addition to increasing community resources thanks to the energy bill savings of the Sunnova system, the Chapter House can continue to serve as a great community resource when the grid fails.” said Moira Hanes, EBL Executive Director and Co-Founder. “Municipalities can continue to collect and also cook food, get emergency supplies and stay warm in the winter because many houses have no heat source.”
News item from Sunnova