AUSTIN (KXAN) — Soon, many families in the Navajo Nation will be able to turn on the lights in their homes for the first time.

A group of utility companies, including Austin Energy and the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority, are partnering to make this possible.

On Friday, Austin Energy sent 11 crew members and 10 trucks to Leupp, Arizona, where they will spend two weeks working on the Light Up Navajo project. The goal is to connect Navajo families to the electric grid.

Last year, Austin Energy sent eight crew members to Arizona to work on the project.

“We went to a place where people had never had lights, some people who have never had power in their homes for generations. And so to get lights on for people who have never had it – to see the appreciation they had is pretty humbling,” said Paul Peterson, an Austin Energy distribution electrician supervisor.

Austin Energy said the project is important because Navajo families otherwise may have issues accessing running water, reliable lighting, home heating, home cooling and appliance connections, a release said.

In addition, Austin Energy said Navajo families often drive over an hour once or twice a week to get water for cooking, cleaning and drinking.