The GRID Alternatives Tribal HQ team installed a solar PV system on the Okreek Community Center building recently. The system size was 8.505 kW-DC and is expected to save over $1,200 per year in electricity costs.
The Tribal Program has installed over 600 systems on tribal lands and has created over 2,800 kW-DC of clean, renewable energy.
Three volunteers, who each received solar installation training, joined the GRID crew in Okreek. One of the participants was Marie Kills Warrior. Marie is from the Oglala Sioux Tribe, and works on the solar team at Thunder Valley CDC.
The Tribal Program will be back in Rosebud next year to install a 250 kW-DC system. The Department of Energy awarded the Rosebud Sioux Tribe a grant for $448,500 for a tribal energy infrastructure deployment project. Under this project, 250 kW of solar PV will be installed to offset approximately 45 percent of the electric load of the 30 housing units and one community building that comprise the Sicangu Village. This will save an estimated $38,026 annually and $951,875 over 25 years. As part of the project, tenants will receive energy efficiency education to reduce energy consumption, and local trainees will be recruited to assist in the installation providing a number of jobs.
GRID Alternatives has been working with the Rosebud Sioux Tribe since 2015, and the Tribal HQ team has completed 16 installations on the reservation to date.
The last SolarCorps Construction Fellow was Cassandra Valandra, who has just been hired on to the Tribal HQ team as a Construction Assistant. Cassandra is from the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, and volunteered with GRID on their first installation on the Rosebud Reservation back in 2015. GRID offers a SolarCorps Fellowship program where participants receive a year long paid training experience, learning valuable skills in the solar industry.
GRID Alternatives is a national leader in making clean, affordable solar power and solar jobs accessible to underserved communities. Using a unique, people-first model, GRID develops and implements solar projects that serve qualifying households and affordable housing providers, and offers solar education and hands-on job training to help people jumpstart their solar careers. The company’s work brings together affordable housing organizations, job training groups, government agencies, municipalities, utilities and local communities to make solar a win for everyone.