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N.M. Delegation Welcomes $17.5 million to Provide Clean and Reliable Electricity, Lower Utility Costs

Investments will help N.M. and Navajo Nation prevent weather-related power outages and install new residential solar systems

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) and U.S. Representatives Teresa Leger Fernández (D-N.M.), Melanie Stansbury (D-N.M.), and Gabe Vasquez (D-N.M.) are welcoming $17.5 million from the Department of Energy (DOE) — funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law — to reduce impacts due to extreme weather and ensure the reliability of the power sector’s infrastructure, so communities in New Mexico have access to affordable, reliable, clean electricity anytime.

“This is exactly what our Bipartisan Infrastructure Law was intended to do — create more affordable, more reliable infrastructure while bringing costs down for families,”said Heinrich.“By reducing the number of weather-related power outages and installing new solar systems in Tribal communities, this investment will go a long way in improving lives across our state and across Navajo Nation. I look forward to working alongside my colleagues to ensure all New Mexicans can reap the benefits of this landmark legislation in our transition to a clean energy future.”

“As the climate crisis continues, it’s critical that we take steps to modernize our electric infrastructure to withstand the impacts of natural disasters,” said Senator Luján. “I’m proud to join my colleagues to welcome over $17 million in funding to provide necessary infrastructure upgrades to New Mexico and the Navajo Nation. This investment will help reduce the number of power outages, increase renewable resources, and boost the clean energy workforce in our state. I’m glad this funding will also help deploy clean energy technologies in the Navajo Nation to lower utility costs for tribal members.”

“In New Mexico and across the Navajo Nation people often have unreliable electricity, and sometimes no electricity at all,” said Rep. Leger Fernández. “This investment will improve a longstanding disparity that impacts New Mexicans. People need affordable, reliable power connections to do almost everything in our modern world. With these funds, we begin to reinvest in our communities.”

“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is delivering crucial climate resilience resources for our communities,” said Stansbury. “I am excited that the newest wave of funding is sending over $15 million to the Navajo Nation and New Mexico to modernize our electric grid and nearly $1.8 million for solar installation that will help power the Ojo Encino Chapter of the Navajo Nation and lower utility bills. This funding will help us drive our clean energy economy forward—and be resilient in the face of rising temperatures.”

“The changing climate and environment requires us to invest in our electric infrastructure to ensure every community is prepared for any disaster. I am proud to see the federal government prioritizing funds for our tribal communities in New Mexico,” said Vasquez.

DOE funding includes:

  • $14 million for the State of New Mexico.This investment will be used by the State to reduce the number and duration of outages caused by natural hazard disruptions by repairing and strengthening damaged or vulnerable systems.
  • $1.8 million to Navajo Nation (Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah) to prevent weather-related power outages.This investment will be used by the Nation to reduce the number and duration of outages caused by natural hazard disruptions by hardening power lines, facilities, substations, and other systems. Selected projects will address other outdated and/or failing energy infrastructure items and materials like power lines and poles, transformers, and bucket trucks while reducing the energy burden experienced by low-income Tribal members and disadvantaged Tribal communities.
  • $1.7 million to Navajo Nation (New Mexico) to install solar systems and lower utility costs.This investment will be used for 50 grid-tied solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, totaling 250 kW on residential homes in the Ojo Encino Chapter—located in the eastern portion of the Navajo Nation in northwest New Mexico. These PV systems will offset from 75% to 95% of local residents’ electric utility bills, collectively saving those tribal members $2 million over the life of the systems.