Clean Energy: Tribes talk potential for solar development

"While there are Indian reservations scattered throughout the country, the Southwest is home to many. That simple fact makes solar and other renewable energy development discussions extremely relevant to native peoples.

The best areas in the country for solar development also happen to be where the highest concentration of Indian reservations is located, said Carolyn Stewart, managing partner and owner of Red Mountain Energy Partners. Stewart moderated a discussion between energy-industry leaders and Native American leaders at the Global New Energy Summit in Colorado Springs last week.

The discussion centered on the vast natural resources available on tribal lands and the infinite challenges to develop them. Because most incentives for solar and wind development are tax-related, they don’t work for tribal lands, Stewart said.

Many of the native peoples living on Indian reservations suffer high unemployment and poverty rates, she said, and haven’t found a way to generate meaningful income. Even those reservations with gambling operations don’t see a lot of success unless they are located near a city, she said."

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Leaders, tribes talk solar potential on Southwest reservations (Clean Energy Authority 4/25)

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