Wisconsin Tribes Funded for Some Serious Solar

The Oneida Tribe of Indians has 800 kW of roof-mounted solar projects pending on 6 tribal facilities after securing a $1million matching grant from the US Department of Energy (US DOE). They are partnering with a business investor that will be able to use the 30 percent Federal Investment Tax Credit and provide the match.  The solar photovoltaic (PV) systems will be behind the meter and should be operational summer of 2017. They will provide electricity to an elderly resident care home, health center, casino activity center, food distribution center, recreation center and elder service apartments.

The US DOE awarded the Mole Lake Tribe of Lake Superior Chippewa in Forest County a $1 million matching grant as well. The tribe will install a total of 600 kW of solar PV on all 17 of their commercial buildings. Most of the solar systems are larger than the 20kW net metering cap of Mole Lake Tribe’s utility- Wisconsin Public Service Corporation. Those will be set up behind the meter to provide electricity directly to that facility. The smaller installations will feed into the grid and receive the net metering rate credited against their bills. The project leverages private funds to help finance the solar systems too. An important component of the contract with the installer for the Tribe is that they provide training and installation experience to Sokaogon Chippewa Housing Authority employees.