Rural Renewable Energy Alliance Awarded Grant to Fund Community Solar on Leech Lake Reservation
PINE RIVER- The nonprofit organization Rural Renewable Energy Alliance, or RREAL, has been awarded a $500,000 grant to fund a 200kW share solar array in the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe.
The Backus-based company will generate electricity from a community solar garden to benefit recipients of Minnesota’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance.
Community Solar Gardens are centrally located electric systems that provide energy to participating subscribers off-site.
Funding for this project was provided by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund and responds to the growing natural resource impacts of using imported fossil fuels to supply Minnesota’s low-income energy needs.
In the release, LeRoy Staples-Fairbanks, the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe’s District III Representative stated,“We are thrilled to develop this opportunity at Leech Lake,” said Staples-Fairbanks. “This is a way for our tribe to demonstrate good energy policy at tribal, state, and federal levels. The solar garden is a way for us to make clean energy affordable and available to many in our community. The Prescott community is a great fit that will serve well for future growth in efforts.”
RREAL has delivered solar energy systems benefiting over 425 low-income households since 2000.