Hybrid Solar-Wind Power Connects Rural Navajos


The Johnson family‘s hybrid solar-wind generator, one of about 200 distributed energy systems installed on the Navajo Reservation where about 18,000 people don’t have electricity service.

(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

http://news.cnet.com/8301-11128_3-57324414-54/hybrid-solar-wind-power-connects-rural-navajos/

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