On October 19, President Ben Shelly (left) and Sandia National Laboratory President Paul Hommet sign the MOU in support of collaboration between the parties to develop and protect resources on the Navajo Nation. (Courtesy Navajo Nation)

Sandia National Laboratories To Assist Navajo Nation in Developing Energy Resources


Sandia National Laboratories will help the Navajo Nation take advantage of its coal, natural gas, wind and solar resources.

Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Albuquerque, New Mexico-based Sandia National Laboratories on October 19 at the Navajo Nation Museum. The agreement continues the cooperative relationship between the federal lab and the tribe for another five years. Afterward, an automatic five-year extension will take place unless one of the parties opts out, reported The Durango Herald.

“Through the leadership of the Navajo Nation and the Department of Energy, we are able to have the national lab’s scientist and engineers to work alongside the Navajo Nation, supporting the critical needs in areas of energy development and technology deployments,” President Shelly said in a press release.

Sandia will provide technical assistance, develop strategies regarding Navajo’s natural resources, and increase communication between the tribe, Sandia and other national laboratories under the Strategic Technical Tribal Technology Team.

“We are paving the way to great progress,” President Shelly said.

Paul Hommet, president and director of Sandia National Laboratory, said the labs are committed to helping the Navajo Nation.

“[The MOU] reflects our pledge to a continued partnership,” Hommet said.

A primary goal of the MOU is creating jobs on reservation.

“We need to bring employment and we need to bring revenue to the Nation,” President Shelly said.

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