Blue Lake Rancheria breaks ground on 'microgrid' energy system

Tribal, state and federal leaders break ground on the energy project at the Blue Lake Rancheria in California on August 24, 2015. Photo from Siemens

The Blue Lake Rancheria of California broke ground on a unique energy system that will supply power to the reservation.

The "microgrid" -- which can operate independently of existing utility systems -- consists of solar, biomass and diesel components. It will be the largest solar array in Humboldt County when it's completed in the fall of 2016.

The tribe is working with Humboldt State University’s Schatz Energy Research Center and Siemens, an international firm based in Germany, on the project. The California Energy Commission’s Electric Program Investment Charge program provided a $5 million grant to help fund the effort.

“This project is an exemplary and successful collaboration between tribal, local, state, and federal entities, assertively working toward clean energy initiatives,” Jana Ganion, the tribe's energy director, said in a press release.

The system will provide power to the tribal offices and the Blue Lake Casino and Hotel. It's expected to reduce carbon emissions on and near the reservation.

The White House has recognized the tribe as one of its Climate Action Champions for taking steps to address climate change.

Get the Story:
A greener grid: Tribe, HSU celebrate groundbreaking of self-sustaining, renewable energy system (The Eureka Times-Standard 8/25)
Blue Lake Rancheria tribe unveils new micro-grid (KRCR 8/24)
Siemens to help build microgrid in Native American reservation (Greentech Lead 8/24)

Join the Conversation