Last week, consulting firm EnTech Solutions and its affiliate Faith Technologies said that they have partnered with the Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians to implement a solar-powered microgrid. The project, named the Ishkonige Nawadide Solar Project, is part of a long-term energy strategic plan for the tribe.
EnTech and Faith will finance, own, and operate the system for the tribe. Additional funding for the project was provided by the U.S. Department of Energy.
The microgrid will deliver energy to three tribal facilities: the Health and Wellness Center, Wastewater Treatment Plant and Administration Building, all of which are relatively remote and susceptible to power outages, said the company in a press release. The microgrid will be made up of a 500-kW solar system and more than 1-MWh of battery energy storage. EnTech said that each facility will operate as an individual microgrid that will remain interactive with the utility and integrate with existing reciprocating generators as lower priority resources.
EnTech Solutions will fund the balance of the system and will own and operate it through an Energy Services Agreement with the tribe. “This is a great demonstration of how a private company can provide financing to a clean energy microgrid system for the benefit of a community,” said Charlie Fredrickson, EnTech Solutions vice president of asset management.
“We are excited to be converting our tribal buildings to a solar and clean energy source while providing another level of resiliency during utility outages,” said Daniel Wiggins Jr., the tribal project lead with the Mishkiiziibii Natural Resource Department for the Bad River Tribe.
Once installation and commissioning are complete, EnTech Solutions will provide O&M for the microgrids. Data gathered from the systems will be applied to a planned Phase 2 project for the Bad River to further support the energy needs of additional facilities on the reservation.