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Navajos to go into wind business

March 28, 2008 at 7:50 PM

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz., March 28 (UPI) -- The Navajo Nation could play host to hundreds of windmills on its Arizona reservation near Flagstaff under a renewable energy plan.

The Arizona Republic reported that the windmills, standing 400 feet tall, would be erected as part of an agreement between the Navajo Nation and Citizens Energy, a Boston company. The Dine Wind Project would be the first commercial wind farm in the Grand Canyon State, the newspaper said.

The agreement resulted from negotiations among Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley Jr., other key tribal officials and Citizens Energy Chairman Joseph Kennedy II, a former member of Congress.

Shirley said in a statement that the wind farm will "bring prosperity for the Navajo people and build our energy independence while providing jobs and other benefits for the Navajo Nation."

Navajos will have "a significant ownership stake" in developments, reaping $60 million to $100 million over the project's lifetime, the tribal statement said.

The operation is planned in the Gray Mountain area, about 50 miles north of Flagstaff.

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