A major new investment announced today will almost double the solar capacity across Winnebago. The public toured the community's renewable energy projects in August 2018 and we made this video. Learn more >>> https://tinyurl.com/y9drb3jp

Posted by Ho-Chunk, Inc. on Monday, September 24, 2018
Ho-Chunk Inc. on Facebook: Solar Energy on the Winnebago Reservation

Winnebago Tribe doubles investment in solar energy on reservation

By Kevin Abourezk $ti

The Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska is continuing its march toward self-sustainability with a $728,000 investment that will fund installation of solar panels at nine new locations on the tribe’s northeast Nebraska reservation.

The new installations will include the Blackhawk Community Center, Ho-Chunk Inc.’s accounting offices, two Pony Express convenience stores and other businesses.

The latest investment – including a $364,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Indian Energy and $364,000 in matching funds from Ho-Chunk Inc., the tribe and its partners – will almost double the solar electricity generated across one of Nebraska’s largest renewable energy infrastructures.

Solar installations on the Winnnebago Reservation. Source: Ho-Chunk Inc.

The expansion will add 320kW solar capacity to the current 400kW, increasing energy savings by $47,000 annually.

“Sustainability and being able to provide for ourselves is very important to the Winnebago Tribe,” said Ann Marie Bledsoe Downes, executive vice president of community impact and engagement for HCI. “These renewable energy projects are indicators of our commitment to self-sufficiency and our desire to be good stewards of our resources.”

In 2007, HCI began developing the tribe’s renewable energy infrastructure with construction of five wind turbines. Last year, 1,000 solar panels were installed at 14 sites across the community, including at its powwow grounds, elder housing and solar panel farm adjacent to U.S. Highway 75 at the north end of Winnebago.

Department of Energy grants and matching funds paid for that $749,000 investment.

Ho-Chunk Inc. owns Indianz.Com. The website is not involved in the corporation's solar energy efforts.

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