Solar on the Street

Photo: Keith Arkins

By: Drake Dunaway, Lindsey Clinkingbeard, Conrad Romero

Reporting for #Cronkite502

Our group spoke to community members in Downtown Phoenix today regarding their overall opinion of solar energy, and if they had any personal experiences with solar to share.

Our group found that most people were supportive of renewable energy. But when it came to solar, there were not many people who had experience with it. Many cited reasons such as “too expensive” or “too complicated” for why they are not currently using solar energy. Should prices drop in the future, or if the process became more simple, most people agreed they’d be open to implementing this type of renewable energy in their everyday lives.

Photo: Drake Dunaway

ASU student Micah says that “I think solar energy is a really good idea because it will help save our planet. We are at that point where we need to conserve as much energy as we can…. I think it’s really important that we do research on these types of opportunities.”

We put together a short multimedia clip of our experience today:

Thank you for following along! We will continue to share more about our investigative journey.

Solar Energy at Kayenta

Kayenta Solar Facility
Photo: Drake Dunaway

Having worked in the electric and natural gas utility business for over 45 years, Glenn Steiger is currently focused on expanding renewable energy throughout Arizona.

Steiger is the executive consultant for the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority. He immerses himself in the renewable energy business, and has a goal to usher the sustainability movement towards the future. His work with the Kayenta Solar Facility does just that.

Reporter Lindsey Clinkingbeard and Glenn Steiger interview together at the Arizona State University campus in Tempe, Arizona
Photo: Conrad Romero

The Kayenta Solar Facility is the newest solar addition located in northern Arizona. According to Steiger, the power plant provides additional power to those who live in the Navajo Nation. Yes, that power is renewable.

Utility companies such as Salt River Project are working with the Kayenta Facility in order to abide with the corporate commission compliance requirement to get 15% of their power from renewable sources. In other states, such as California, the requirements are closer to double of that.

The renewable power source is a first for the Navajo Nation community.

Kayenta Solar Facility – Location via Google Maps

“Solar energy is one of the most cutting-edge technologies today… it will only get better and more efficient,” Steiger says.

Reporter Drake Dunaway traveled to northern Arizona to visit Steiger at the Kayenta Solar Facility, where he was shown exactly where “Kayenta 2” will be built.

Dunaway describes the eye-opening experience of seeing both the solar field and the vast Navajo Nation in person.

“It was a combination of the land’s beauty but also like wow… there is just so much space here,” Dunaway said.

Steiger explains more about Kayenta’s new solar facility in the video below.