Many homes in the Navajo Nation in northern Arizona have gone without electricity for decades.
The American Public Power Association approached SRP to ask them to volunteer to help get electricity to the area.
“It’s humbling because you take these every day luxuries for granted, you reach over, touch a wall and light comes on,” said Bret Marchese, a distribution manager with Salt River Project.
“We have helped in New York, Puerto Rico and now we get a chance to help the Navajo Nation,” added Marchese.
His crew have helped connect power from distribution lines, directly to the individual homes.
The homes are throughout 27,000 square miles, and they have very little infrastructure between them. There are approximately 15,000 homes that have never had access to power.
One of the fortunate Navajo Nation residents who will now have access to power is 70-year-old Fanny Shorthair. She has been waiting for power for her entire lifetime.
When asked what she plans on doing once her home is powered. her response was, “read, I love to read, make toast, and watch TV (laughing).”
The materials to turn the power on are being donated by the association and the Navajo Nation. SRP is providing the equipment and labor.
“I think this will enhance their lives, for safety reasons, for lighting reasons, access to hospitals…it will help improve their lives as well,” said SRP Foreman Kyle Bridges.
SRP hopes to continue the project after this pilot program.
“It gives us pride, ‘we are gonna get them back in power’ now we are actually getting an opportunity to go beyond that and get power to people who have never had it,” said Stinski.