GRID in the News

At a May 16 celebration of the new project, known as the Children of the Sun Solar Initiative (or COSSI), people from the many collaborating organizations that pulled it together cheered the start of work that is expected to save the tribe $2.8 million over the next 30 years. 

The fierce blaze consumed 14 homes and displaced nearly 50 people on the Spokane Indian Reservation. It burned more than 18,000 acres, destroyed 14 tribal homes, and cut power to main administrative buildings and water supply. But the community is trying to get back to normal life with a project that “is born of fire” — a solar initiative that is designed to foster resilience, autonomy, and sustainability.

“This project is born of fire. The 2016 Cayuse Mountain Fire stimulated us to look at going solar because of the impact it had on the reservation,” said Tim Horan, executive director of the Spokane Tribal Housing Authority. “The Children of the Sun Solar Initiative puts us on a path to energy independence, climate resiliency and tribal power sovereignty — eventually we could be self-sufficient.”

“Bringing the next generation of energy technology to all Americans requires not just dollars but innovation and creativity,” said Marc Ott, executive director of ICMA, the Challenge’s prize administrator. “The Solar in Your Community Challenge meets this need through the power of local ideas and is yet another successful example of what’s possible through local and Federal cooperation.”

On April 3, 2018, the ICC approved the Illinois Power Agency’s long-term renewable resources procurement plan under the 2016 Future Energy Jobs Act. Under that plan, the IPA sought to implement three programs providing money to small, renewable energy generation facilities: the Adjustable Block, Community Renewable Generation and Illinois Solar for All programs. 

“Alternative energy is now becoming a significant discussion in all our communities across the nation and most importantly on Navajo,” said Ray Griego, Energy Systems instructor at NTU. “We have been moving steadily from fossil fuel here on the Navajo Nation, and this shift presents the challenge for our younger generation to explain how to successfully accomplish the transition.”

The resulting solar array in Towaoc (pronounced toy-yak) will bring power to the 2,100 people living nearby. It will give the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe — one of three Ute Indian tribes in the southwestern United States — enough renewable energy to begin the first phase of a dream they’ve been developing for 10 years.

This year’s election is for the representative of District 1, which consists of most of the east side of Highway 40 in Fraser and some parts of Tabernash and Winter Park, including the Winter Park Ranch, Rendezvous and Hi Country Haus neighborhoods.

The $3.5 million project is the result of a partnership between the Housing Authority of Pueblo and Black Hills Energy. Sixty percent of the electricity generated by the solar panels would be dedicated to between 100 and 150 low-income households, said Ted Ortiviz, director of the housing authority.

Those households are expected to save between $200 and $300 a year on their electric bills.

Rodney took classes through GRID Alternatives, a nonprofit that specializes in solar projects. His mom made sure he made it to every class.

Rodney was leading a team of students from Georgia Tech. They’re spending their spring break installing the Flood’s panels then touring the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden.

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