Sunshine on My Solar Cell Makes Me Happy
Native American Photovoltaics, a new nonprofit, aims to bring solar power to homes on Indian reservations across the U.S. Last year, the group launched a program that offers families in the southwestern portion of the Navajo Reservation in Arizona the chance to lease-to-own a solar generator that can provide enough power to fuel lights, a water pump, a fridge, a TV, and a computer. The nonprofit will also train Navajo workers to maintain the solar systems, thereby providing much needed jobs in an area with high unemployment. Only 9 percent of 37,000 homes on the Navajo Reservation had electricity in 1990, according to Census Bureau statistics. Large expanses of open land on reservations make it prohibitively expensive to string power lines, but small solar generators are much more affordable.