Kayenta II Solar
Kayenta, Ariz.
Best Project

Owner: Navajo Tribal Utility Authority (NTUA)
Lead Design Firm/General Contractor: Swinerton Renewable Energy
Civil Engineer: Kimley-Horn
Structural/MEP Engineer: Blymyer Engineers

Surrounded by high desert land and rolling hills within the Navajo Nation, Kayenta II Solar marks the second phase of a tribally developed, owned and operated solar facility, the first of its kind in the U.S. The project, a follow-up to Kayenta I, also a solar facility, incorporates 28 MW of AC power (Mwac), more than 100,000 solar modules, 11 inverters and a single-axis tracker racking system.

Construction on the 136-acre site, which started in late 2018, benefited from the experience gained by local Navajo workers who participated in construction of Kayenta I. Both skilled labor and the project’s management team provided new or first-time solar hires with hands-on training.

The team employed quality QA/QC checklists to execute work and confirm that all manufacturer and design engineering requirements were met. Additionally, project management software developed by Swinerton Renewable Energy allowed the use of GPS-enabled tablets to monitor activity and record QA/QC deficiencies across the site. Project owner Navajo Tribal Utility Authority (NTUA) provided a detailed punch list for the site based on experience gained during Kayenta I.

Plans for Kayenta II included a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system to monitor and manage the new facility and its connection to the grid. A mid-project change order called for an upgrade that allows for both Kayenta I and II to be controlled from a single point. Swinerton coordinated closely with NTUA on information from Kayenta I to ensure compatibility with the new SCADA system.

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