“My most memorable moment of the ‘Light Up Navajo’ project was when I spoke to a 54-year-old woman who had been waiting for electricity her entire life. I will never forget how her eyes lit up when she talked about having power.” 
Jesus Rodriguez, SRP line section supervisor
21
May
2019
|
06:00 PM
America/Denver

Hundreds of Native American Families Now Have Electricity

SRP, NTUA and APPA Complete Pilot Phase of ‘Light Up Navajo’

'Light Up Navajo' Quick Facts:

- 228 Native American families now have electricity.
- SRP line crews provided power to 42 families.
- 120 volunteer line crews from across the U.S. constructed about 42 miles of distribution line.
- SRP crews set 249 poles, strung 26 miles of overhead wire and worked 3,250 hours of donated man-hours.

Salt River Project linemen have returned home after working on the Navajo Nation in northeastern Arizona from April 27 to May 18 to provide electricity to families who have never before had power. SRP was one of 25 volunteer utilities that participated in the ‘Light Up Navajo’ electrification project led by the American Public Power Association (APPA) and Navajo Tribal Utility Authority (NTUA).

This week, a total of 228 Native American families now have electricity in their homes. SRP line crews are directly responsible for connecting 42 of those families.

“The challenge our linemen usually face is restoring power to customers — especially during storm season however, during this assignment, we built completely new electrical infrastructure,” said Bret Marchese, SRP director of Distribution Maintenance. “I will never forget seeing the faces of the people who received power for the first time. It was an honor to help improve the quality of life for residents on the Navajo Nation.”

During the six-week humanitarian effort, line crews constructed about 42 miles of distribution line. SRP crews set 249 poles, strung 26 miles of overhead wire and worked 3,250 hours of donated man-hours. It has been an historic, life-changing experience for the veteran SRP line workers, based out of the Tempe Service Center.

“There are so many things we take for granted like running water and power, but families we helped to energize had never had either. It is very humbling that people are living like this in northeastern Arizona – in our own backyard,” said Kory Nichols, SRP manager of field maintenance. “As our crews worked, the customers really observed what it took to construct and deliver power. When we finished energizing their homes, they took the time to shake each crew member’s hand and were sincere in thanking us.”

A total of 30 SRP employees participated in the project and worked 12-hour days, seven days a week. SRP donated employee time, line trucks, digging equipment and a mechanic service truck.

“My most memorable moment of the ‘Light Up Navajo’ project was when I spoke to a 54-year-old woman who had been waiting for electricity her entire life. I will never forget how her eyes lit up when she talked about having power,” said Jesus Rodriguez, SRP line section supervisor. “The whole experience humbled me and made me very proud to work for a company like SRP that cares and goes above and beyond to get involved to improve peoples’ lives.”

According to APPA, 300,000 people reside on the 27,000-square-mile Navajo Nation, which includes parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. At this point, just under 15,000 homes still do not have electricity. APPA and NTUA hope to continue with “Light Up Navajo” efforts. The organizations will review the pilot phase to determine next steps. The public is invited to help donate to the effort and can learn more at www.publicpower.org/donate-light-navajo.

SRP ‘Light Up Navajo’ Crew Roster

 

From/Title:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chandler

Gilbert

Tempe

Mesa

Goodyear

Phoenix/

Peoria

Queen Creek

San Tan Valley

Jayme Baranek
Technician 


Enrique Baduqui
Trades Helper

 

 

Matt Brown
Lineman

Alex Apodaca
Lineman

Rey Davila
Lineman

Rudy Chavez
Trades Helper

Dustin Hawkins
Operator

Nate Naranjo
Lineman

Jake Haines
Lineman

Ryan French
Foreman

Daniel Foster
Trades Helper

Kyle Bridges
Foreman 

Bret Marchese
Director

Tony Esqueda
Supervisor 

Matt Peek
Supervisor

 

Mark Henle
Lineman

Steve Frost
Operator

Randy Ortiz
Foreman

Aaron Dort
Lineman

 

Gian Miller
Lineman

Chris Stinski
Foreman

 

Mario Lizarraga
Operator 

Guillermo Heredia
Lineman 

 

Greg Fasoletos
Lineman

 

Shawn Roller
Lineman 

 

 

Marc Sienicki Foreman

 

Cory Jansen
Lineman

 

Josh McKnight
Lineman 

 

Jerry Gonzales(Peoria)
Lineman 

 

 

 

Kory Nichols
Manager

 

 

   

 

 

 

Jesus Rodriguez
Supervisor

     

 

 

 

 

Dave Wareham
Lineman

 

 

 

 

 

 

About SRP

SRP is a community-based, not-for-profit public power utility and the largest provider of electricity in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area, serving more than 1 million customers. SRP is also the metropolitan area’s largest supplier of water, delivering about 800,000 acre-feet annually to municipal, urban and agricultural water users.

 

About APPA

The American Public Power Association is the voice of not-for-profit, community-owned utilities that power 2,000 towns and cities nationwide. APPA represents public power before the federal government to protect the interests of the more than 49 million people that public power utilities serve, and the 93,000 people they employ. APPA advocates and advises on electricity policy, technology, trends, training and operations. The members strengthen their communities by providing superior service, engaging citizens and instilling pride in community-owned power.