Navajo wind farm in Arizona

When completed, it will use about 50 wind turbines and generate wind power equivalent to the energy needs of up to 20,000 homes.

The Navajo Tribal Utility Authority confirmed in a press release that plans for the wind farm on the Big Boquillas Ranch were approved by the Navajo Nation Council last week.

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.

NTUA General Manager Walter W. Haase applauded the plan, calling it the Navajo Nation’s first major wind farm project. "This is historic," Haase said. "For the first time, the Navajo Nation is a majority owner of an energy project that will introduce a wind energy to the Navajo Nation for the benefit of the Navajo people."

The Navajo Tribal Utility Authority, through a for-profit subsidiary, NTUA Wind, will develop, finance, construct, operate and own 51% of the projects. The other 49% will belong to Boquillas Wind, a partnership of Edison Mission Energy and Foresight Wind Energy.

The Navajo Tribal Utility Authority supplies electricity, water, solar power, natural gas and wastewater treatment to residents throughout the 26,000-square-mile Navajo reservation which spreads across parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.

Foresight Wind Energy is currently working with the Hopi Tribe in Arizona and has completed a feasibility study with Pueblo of Laguna in New Mexico. Project discussions are underway with other Tribes throughout the West. Foresight seeks to tailor each partnership with a tribe to meet that particular tribe’s concerns, interests, and capabilities. Projects can be structured for equity participation by Tribes.