PINE RIDGE, S.D. (KELO) –A solar energy project is coming to the Pine Ridge Reservation thanks to the American Solar Energy Society and a $500,000 grant from the EPA.
Red Cloud Renewable has been working with solar energy since 1997 and now is looking to help those on the Pine Ridge Reservation through the Dome Project.
“We’re able to solarize these units with the battery base system, charge controller, inverter and being able to allow them to be completely off the grid,” Executive Director Henry Red Cloud said.
With thousands of acres of available tribal land, the opportunity for these dome homes is limitless.
“You have off grid solar, now you have power and water and a home and you can live with your family, with your community out on your tribal lands in a more traditional fashion. So that’s what people are saying they want, that is Native vision in action,” ASES CFO Sarah Townes said.
Red Cloud Renewable is going to be able to build and construct 22 of these small homes all with solar powered energy here on Pine Ridge and expects them all to be up and running and housed by Fall of next year.
“So putting solar on these units here, we’re able to and we’re going to put them of course over on the south side of the building. Currently we’re in construction of some of these over in Porcupine as well as over in Pine Ridge,” Red Cloud said.
Once the homes are completed the reservation could become known leaders in the sustainability movement.
“People can look at the reservations and go, oh that’s how we all want to be living. In these really efficient houses with renewable clean energy. It would be amazing to see that all over the country,” Townes said.
Red Cloud Renewable hopes it also leads to more economic opportunities.
ASES is finishing up details and hopes to have everything finalized and ready to go by early 2024.