14:10 PM

SRP Crews Depart Saturday to Help Provide Power to Native Americans Who Have Never Had Electricity

Salt River Project is sending two crews, comprised of 10 employees, to the Navajo Nation for a three-week volunteer effort to power homes that have never had electricity. SRP is one of 24 community-owned electric utilities from 12 states volunteering in a collaborative effort known as “Light Up Navajo.”The pilot initiative is being organized by the American Public Power Association to support electrification efforts by the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority, which is the public power utility serving the Navajo Nation.

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 Leupp, Bird Springs and Steamboat, AZ. And by Monday, SRP line workers hope to energize their first home.

Of the 55,000 homes located on the 27,000 square mile Navajo Nation (roughly the size of West Virginia), approximately 15,000 homes do not have electricity. They represent 75 percent of all U.S. households that do not have power.

Fannie Shorthair, who is in her late 70s, has waited her entire life for electricity. As a child, her mother used to reassure her that “it would come,” eventually. When her home gets power for the first time, she says she plans to read a book with a light, make toast and watch TV.

Each week, SRP will rotate its 10-man crew with a new group. A total of 26 SRP line workers will have an opportunity to participate through May 18. The project started on April 6.

The Light Up Navajo initiative plans 15 projects to bring electricity to hundreds of households in spring 2019. 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.

WHEN: Saturday, April 27, at 11 a.m.

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

High-resolution photos and video will be provided of SRP crews throughout their participation in the humanitarian effort. If reporters would like to cover the story firsthand, limited requests can be managed. 


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 also is the metropolitan area’s largest supplier of water, delivering about 800,000 acre-feet annually to municipal, urban and agricultural water users.


About American Public Power Association:

The American Public Power Association is the voice of not-for-profit, community-owned utilities that power 2,000 towns and cities nationwide. We represent 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. Our association advocates and advises on electricity policy, technology, trends, training, and operations. Our members strengthen their communities by providing superior service, engaging citizens, and instilling pride in community-owned power.