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March 15, 2019

RMU Crews to Light Up Navajo Nation

Rochelle Municipal Utilities is proud to partner with the American Public Power Association on the Light Up Navajo project.  A crew of four from our Electric Operations team will be join 100 volunteers from 22 utilities to bring electricity to the 15,000 Navajo household without power. 

“This is what public utilities are all about – helping others in need,” said Jason Bird, RMU Electric Superintendent. 

The Navajo Nation is 27,000 square miles, a service area that makes providing electricity no small task. The terrain, distance between the homes, and the sheer size of the area makes it difficult to get families the necessities that many US households take for granted. Electrification in the Navajo Nation has been slow due to the high cost of connecting isolated rural households to the grid, the sensitivity of families to utility costs, and the limited availability of government loans.

Electrifying just one household is an expensive endeavor. Each household, on average, requires 1 transformer, 0.6 miles of wire, 9 poles, 16 insulators, and 2 arrestors to connect to the electric grid; which is an average material cost of around $5,500.

“Our team is proud to be a part of this project to bring power to an underserved segment of the US,” said City Manager Jeff Fiegenschuh.  “RMU is committed to not only serving our local customers but to also offer a helping hand where needed.”