October 28, 2009

Navajo Nation to Benefit from Energy "Smart Grid" Grants

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall today announced that the Navajo Tribal Utility Association will receive a $4.9 million grant to better serve its 38,000 customers.

The funding, which comes from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will be used to install a “smart grid” network and data management system that will quickly identify system outages.

“This is an important investment in the Navajo Nation – one that will result in better service to the Navajo Nation Utility Association’s nearly 40,000 customers,” Bingaman said. “At the same time, this grant will help create good jobs in the area.”

“Implementation of ‘Smart Grid’ technology can help transform our energy infrastructure in the places we need it the most, like the Navajo Nation,” said Udall. “This grant will help create jobs and advance the use of renewable energy sources in the region.”

In general, “smart grid” projects result in a more efficient, secure and reliable electricity grid, and are a seminal first step toward shifting to the use of cleaner energy. The “smart grid” will give consumers better information to manage their energy use, make it easier for power companies to use more renewable energy, and allow us to get more out of the generation resources that we already have.

As chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Bingaman is responsible for helping create the Smart Grid grants in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.