28
March
2022
|
13:58 PM
America/Denver

SRP Crews Depart on Saturday to Once Again Help Provide Power to Native American Families Who Have Never Had Electricity

Media Invited to Cover Crew Send Off

Summary

Editor Note: 
We can coordinate an interview with a line worker from your coverage area. Line workers serving on the humanitarian mission reside in the following cities: Chandler, Gilbert, Glendale, Goodyear, Litchfield Park, Mesa, Queen Creek and Tempe. Spanish speakers available too.

WHAT:
Salt River Project is joining other utilities from across the nation on a local humanitarian mission to provide electricity to Arizona families on the Navajo Nation who still live without electricity in the modern world. These families live without basic common necessities such as a refrigerator, stove and running water.

SRP is dedicating four crews to assist on the Navajo Nation for a one-month period as line workers from 10 states unite to “Light Up Navajo (LUN).”

This marks the third time for the mutual-aid initiative organized jointly by the American Public Power Association and the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority, which is the public power utility serving the Navajo Nation. For the past two years, the LUN electrification efforts paused due to the pandemic, which devastated the Native American community and further instilled the need for electricity and running water to all homes.

SRP’s first wave of line crews will depart Tempe on Saturday morning to begin setting miles of wooden distribution poles and stringing conductor through the vast Navajo Nation. SRP initially will be working in the areas of Chinle, AZ. And by April 8, SRP line workers hope to energize their first home. In total, the goal is to electrify 300 homes.

SRP initially will send two, line crews, made up of 10 employees for the first two weeks. Then, the second 10-person team will replace team one to complete the second half of SRP’s one-month mission. A total of 20 SRP line workers will have an opportunity to participate through May 8.

DEPARTURE:
Saturday, April 2 at 8 a.m.
(Crews will arrive at 6 a.m. to load vehicles. To capture the caravan of large bucket trucks and SRP vehicles pulling out arrive at 7:30 a.m. or sooner)

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WHERE:
SRP’s Tempe Service Center 
110 W. Elliot Road in Tempe
(Media must provide identification to pass through a secured entrance.)

DETAILS:
High-resolution photos and video will be provided of SRP crews throughout their participation in the humanitarian effort. Reporters are invited to cover the story firsthand. Vaccinations are required to enter the Navajo Nation.

Public power utilities like SRP are donating manpower, equipment and/or materials to help the Navajo Nation. The public is also invited to participate in the Light Up Navajo initiative by making cash or material donations. To learn more, visit www.publicpower.org/donate-light-navajo.

Electrifying just one household is an expensive endeavor. Each household, on average, requires one transformer, 0.6 miles of wire, nine poles, 16 insulators, and two arrestors to connect to the electric grid; which is an average material cost of around $5,500.

Of the 55,000 homes located on the 27,000 square mile Navajo Nation (roughly the size of West Virginia), approximately 14,000 homes still do not have electricity. They represent 75 percent of all U.S. households that do not have power.

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 750,000 acre-feet annually to municipal, urban and agricultural water users.