Solar Microgrid Breaks Ground in Northern California Tribal Community
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~ Corning, California - A groundbreaking ceremony was held today for a cutting-edge microgrid project that will support energy sovereignty and sustainable economic growth for the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians. The project, which received a $32 million grant from the California Energy Commission's Long-Duration Energy Storage Program, is one of the largest state grants ever awarded to benefit a California Native American tribe.

The project, located at the Tribe's Rolling Hills Casino & Resort in Corning, will provide 5 megawatts (MW) of solar generation and 15 megawatt hours of long-duration energy storage. This will not only enhance energy resiliency by discharging power during emergencies but also lower fossil fuel use and carbon dioxide emissions.

The microgrid project is part of Governor Gavin Newsom's historic multi-billion-dollar climate commitment and is in line with the state's goal to transition to clean energy sources. "California is showing the world how to fight the climate crisis while creating good jobs and more resilient communities," said Governor Newsom. "We're building more projects like these to secure a clean and reliable energy future that benefits all our communities."

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Tribal Affairs Secretary Christina Snider-Ashtari, who attended the groundbreaking ceremony, emphasized the importance of California Native American tribes in addressing the climate crisis. "Paskenta's innovative project helps advance the shared goal of scaling up clean energy projects across the state, and supports energy sovereignty and sustainable economic development for the Tribe," she said.

The microgrid project will also play a crucial role in California's transition away from fossil fuels. With batteries able to absorb excess renewable power generated during non-peak times and discharge it when demand peaks, they are essential in maintaining a stable grid. In just four years, California has increased its battery storage capacity by 757%, enough to power 6.6 million homes for up to four hours.

Paskenta Tribal Chairman Andrew "Dru" Alejandre expressed gratitude for the partnership with the California Energy Commission and the opportunity to host this grant for the renewable energy project. "Our people have always cared for the land as it has cared for us," he said. "We continue to understand our responsibilities as people and will continue to adapt to modern ways for many generations. We are responsible for preserving our environment for future generations. This project will allow us to provide sustainable energy and, most importantly, increase energy sovereignty."

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California's commitment to clean energy has already yielded significant results, with nearly 60% of its electricity coming from clean sources. The state is on track to meet its goal of 100% clean electricity by 2045 and has already built out 35,000 MW of clean electricity capacity for the grid, powering millions of homes.

The microgrid project at Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians is a testament to California's dedication to a cleaner and more sustainable future. With innovative technologies and partnerships, the state continues to lead the way in addressing the climate crisis while creating economic opportunities for all communities.

Filed Under: Government, State

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