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No longer in the dark: Navajo Nation homes get electricity

Posted at 12:33 PM, May 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-18 15:33:50-04

KAIBETO, Ariz. (AP) - A project to connect homes on the country's largest American Indian reservation to the electric grid is wrapping up.

Utility crews from across the U.S. have volunteered their time from March through May to hook up about 300 Navajo Nation homes.

The Navajo Tribal Utility Authority typically connects from 400 to 450 homes per year. At that rate, it would take the utility about 35 more years to get electricity to the 60,000 of the reservation's 180,000 residents who don't have it.

The vast reservation lies on land in Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.

Walter Haas of the tribal utility says hooking up a single home can cost up to $40,000.

The latest project called LightUpNavajo relied on donations and volunteer utility crews to lower the cost.