Published October 1, 2015
SHINNECOCK NATION, NEW YORK – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell will visit the Shinnecock Nation in New York on Thursday, October 1 to kick off the Tribal Solarthon as part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to helping build clean energy and strong economies in Indian Country. GRID Alternatives, the nation’s largest nonprofit solar installer, is partnering with the Shinnecock Nation to bring solar power to this northeastern coastal community, which suffered extensive damage from Hurricane Sandy three years ago.
This event helps to kick off part of GRID Alternatives’s two-week Tribal Solarthon to bring solar power and job training to four tribal communities in New York, California, Arizona and South Dakota. GRID Alternatives is working to raise funds and install solar energy infrastructure for 50 families on the Shinnecock Nation and a battery backup system, starting with two installations this week that will also provide hands-on job training for tribal members.
“Grid Alternatives’s partnership with the Shinnecock Nation and other tribal communities serves as a model for helping to build a sustainable energy future and solar technology workforce in Indian Country,” Secretary Jewell said. “This partnership shows how the tribal, federal and private sectors can work together to remove barriers to economic development, advance tribal self-determination and add clean energy to the grid.”
Interior Secretary Sally Jewell
Tribal solar development harnesses renewable resources on tribal lands as a reliable and cost-effective way to provide jobs and power homes, businesses and economies. It also aligns with President Obama’s Climate Action Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote the deployment of renewable energy technologies and community resilience measures.
Last week, Secretary Jewell participated in the National Tribal Energy Summit to discuss progress on energy projects and clean energy jobs in Indian Country. The Summit was a joint effort between the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development and the National Congress of State Legislatures with participation from the U.S. Departments of the Interior, Agriculture, and Commerce, among others. Its purpose was to further tribal energy investment and economic development across Indian Country.
Last year, Secretary Jewell approved the 200-megawatt Moapa Solar Energy Center Project on the Moapa River Indian Reservation, located about 20 miles northeast of Las Vegas. The project – the second approved Moapa solar installation – will provide enough energy to power about 60,000 homes and support an estimated 500 jobs during peak constriction along with 10 permanent positions.