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Monday, July 22, 2024

Tribal Energy Snapshot: Coeur d’Alene Tribe

Tribal Energy Snapshot: Coeur d’Alene Tribe

Learn from Laura Laumatia, Environmental Programs Manager for the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, on her experience with the project.

Why did the Tribe pursue this clean energy project?

[This project was initiated] to reduce the Tribe’s carbon footprint and save energy for our Marimn Health and Wellness facility. But perhaps more importantly, [the project is] a way to promote solar energy at a facility that has high visibility. The Coeur Center is a brand new family and youth center that houses a gym, exercise facilities, and our Boys and Girls Club, and has high traffic from not only reservation residents, but families from around the region.

What other benefits have surfaced from the project?

A major benefit has been the opportunity to have community members trained in solar installation. We worked with our contractor, Nimiipuu Energy, to incorporate training into the contract, which included 10 community members receiving 40 hours of hands-on training and 7 of those assisting with the installation. At least 3 [of those trainees] have expressed interest in developing a career path in this field, helping build long-term capacity to achieve the Tribe’s renewable energy and energy sovereignty goals.

What was the biggest “lesson learned” from the project?

The biggest takeaway has been understanding the value of great partners. Even this relatively small solar project requires a lot of planning and coordination, and without [our] partners, it would have been impossible.

What are you most excited about now that the project is complete?

We are excited to be finishing this project at a time when the opportunities to rapidly expand renewable energy are practically exploding! This project has been a launchpad for thinking about the Tribe’s bigger energy goals, and I’m excited to see this project be a springboard for great things. I hope that we will see widespread incorporation of solar into our energy portfolio with all the benefits it can provide in cost savings, emissions reductions, and grid resilience.

Official news published at https://www.energy.gov/indianenergy/articles/tribal-energy-snapshot-coeur-dalene-tribe

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