Tribal projects bring Jinko partnership to life

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August 21, 2017

Members of the Wiyot tribe in Loleta, California and the Rosebud Sioux tribe of South Dakota will benefit from clean, affordable energy for generations to come, thanks to panel donations from GRID’s newest equipment partner, Jinko Solar.

In Loleta, a team of tribal volunteers and GRID staff installed a 4-kilowatt system for Ted Hernandez, Chairman for the Wiyot tribe. Matt Wheeler, SolarCorps Construction Fellow with GRID’s North Coast office, was part of the crew for the installation. A member of the Navajo Nation of Arizona, Matt was particularly excited to match the installation skills he’s been developing at GRID with his passion for making solar accessible to tribal communities.

“It was great to be welcomed into the community. Working with tribes to help them access the financial benefits of solar and job training opportunities is eventually what I’d like to do back home, so this project was special for me.” The system that Matt helped install will save the Hernandez family an estimated $44,000 over its lifetime and prevent 90 tons of carbon from entering the atmosphere.

Volunteers next to solar panels holding jinko and tribal signs
1,500 miles away, the final Jinko panels were being placed on an array for the Rosebud Homeless Shelter, on the Rosebud Sioux reservation in South Dakota. The 8.8-kilowatt ground mount system will save the shelter over $50,000 over the system’s lifetime.

Participants in the Rosebud Sioux Tribe's Summer Youth Employment program had an opportunity to see the donated solar equipment in action. After a brief orientation and solar basics session through our Solar Futures program, they toured the project site to see the panels up close and learn how they produce electricity.

Special thank you to Jinko Solar whose equipment donation helped make these projects possible!