In February of 2016, Red Lake Nation announced plans of beginning a solar project to power several of their buildings in Northern Minnesota. With a rising mercury level in their local lakes from coal plant emissions, the savings from solar would allow the tribe's commercial fishery to continue operation.
Corporate financing fell through, but with the help of creative financing and community interest, the tribe completed the first of several installations, progressing toward one of the largest solar projects in Northern Minnesota.
In this webinar, the panelists shared their first-hand experience with the project, answering these important questions:
- What has this project taught you?
- How does renewable energy fit with the tribe’s accountability decree?
- How important was it to involve the local workforce with the installation instead of bringing in outside crews?
- How can other communities use this project as a model?
- When did you become aware of MnVest and what made you go that direction for project financing?
- How did you find out about the Red Lake project and why is it important to share this story?
- What has the reaction been from tribe members?
- What is your definition of energy sovereignty?
- What is the relationship between clean energy and equity in Minnesota, and how can clean energy businesses play an increased role in helping low-income and communities of color have increased access to clean energy?
Amelia Cerling Hennes of Clean Energy Economy Minnesota, Bob Blake of Solar Bear, Ralph Jacobson of IPS, Darrell G. Seki Sr of Red Lake Nation.