Bear River Band Plans Wind and Solar Installation for This Summer
Press release provided by the Bear River Band of the Rohnerville Rancheria:
The Bear River Band of the Rohnerville Rancheria, in cooperation and partnership with JLM Energy of Rocklin, California, commits to renewable energy project to power the Tish Non Community Center on the Bear River Rancheria. The project is a combination wind/solar installation that will be constructed on the hillside on Singley Hill in the summer of 2015.
The project is part of a sustained effort by the Tribe to diversify economically, reduce its carbon footprint and become more self-sufficient as a community.
“The investment in the installation pencils out to a ten (10) year payback when analyzing reduced power costs for the Tish Non Community Center,” said Dakota McGinnis, Vice Chairman and Economic Development Director.
The Tribe has a single ten (10) kilowatt wind turbine that has been providing power for a component of the Tribal Wastewater treatment infrastructure for a number of years. The small existing wind turbine generates a range of 8970 to 9751 kilowatts of power per year.
“Our experience with the single wind turbine has been positive. We know it works. The technology has improved for wind and solar and it is the right thing to do for the environment. It is a sound economic decision in the long run, but it is also a long term investment in our planet. This is how Bear River can think global and act local,” said Edwin Smith, Tribal Council Member and Director of Environment and Natural Resources for Bear River.
Developing on-site energy capacity to reduce reliance on the electrical grid also allows the Tribe to be more self-sufficient and to provide more meaning and teeth to the concept of Tribal Sovereignty.
“A large part of sovereignty is independence and self-sufficiency. Anything that makes us more independent strengthens our sovereignty and bring us closer to our traditional values,” said Barry Brenard, Bear River Tribal Council Member At Large.
The Bear River Band of the Rohnerville Rancheria is comprised of approximately five-hundred and seventy-two (572) members. The Tribe owns and operates the Bear River Casino Hotel, one of the largest employers in Humboldt County, employing over four hundred (400) people.