(Credit: Martin LaMonica/CNET)
NAVAJO RESERVATION, N.M.–Power transmission lines run a few hundred yards behind the Johnson family home here, but it took an off-grid solar and wind generator to finally bring them electricity service.
The Johnsons, who live on a remote stretch of land on the Navajo Reservation west of Farmington, N.M., are among about 200 families on the Navajo Reservation who rent an off-grid renewable-energy system from the rural utility. They opened their home to visitors last week during a fellowship organized by Institutes for Journalism & Natural Resources.
The hybrid power generator, which was installed in February, combines an eight-panel solar array, small wind turbine, and battery, all contained in a single unit on a shipping skid. It outputs alternating current to the one-story house next door, allowing the family to enjoy modern conveniences many of us take for granted, including a refrigerator, microwave, TV, and electric lights.
Read more: Hybrid Solar-Wind Power