Two Native American firms will be technical consultants on the $46 million energy project
PRAIRIE ISLAND, Minnesota –The Prairie Island Indian Community has selected a team led by Indian Energy (IE) and Chief Strategy Group (CSG), both Native American-owned companies, to help create an energy system for the Tribe that results in net-zero emissions.
Prairie Island received a $46 million appropriation from the Minnesota Legislature in 2020 to develop and execute a comprehensive renewable energy plan for the Tribe that focuses on conservation, on-site renewable energy generation, and sustainability initiatives.
“We are changing our Tribe’s future with this net-zero project,” said Tribal Council President Shelley Buck. “We found partners that not only understand how to create the right energy solution, but they also understand Native culture and the importance of what this project means to our sovereignty and our future. That’s exciting.”
“Indian Energy is honored and humbled to have been selected by the Prairie Island Indian Community to create the strategic plan for their net-zero project and to guide the Tribe and the process to a successful conclusion,” said Indian Energy founder and CEO Allen G Cadreau. “We look forward to meeting with all stakeholders to listen, learn and understand the Tribe’s needs and develop a plan that is feasible, flexible and incremental.”
IE is a microgrid development and systems integration firm, based in California. IE focuses primarily on developing energy solutions for tribes, as well as the United States Departments of Defense and Homeland Security.
“As an all-Native company, Chief Strategy Group is extremely excited to partner with Indian Energy, LLC for this initiative for the Prairie Island Indian Community. This net-zero energy project will set a high benchmark for Indian Country and we are humbled to assist the Tribe with the project,” said CSG President and founder, Michell Hicks. “We strive to provide unique and custom solutions for tribal communities that are reflective of their sovereignty and unique strengths. Alongside the Tribe and our partners, we look forward to bringing forward a plan that the Prairie Island Indian Community is proud of and makes a positive impact for future generations.”
CSG assists tribes in establishing long-term financial and operational strategies in government and business. The company is based in North Carolina.
IE and CSG will be joined on the project team by NV5, an international energy engineering and consulting firm, and The Mendota Group LLC, a Minnesota-based consultancy that focuses on sustainability initiatives.
“Our team of subject matter experts will explore all technologies, strategies and additional resources available to Prairie Island Indian Community to maximize the value of the grant funds,” said Henry J Boulley Jr, COO of Indian Energy. “We are honored to partner with CSG and the additional team members to assist the Prairie Island Indian Community with their energy vision and the overall goals of the project.”
The team will be responsible for developing and helping the Tribe execute a comprehensive project plan, which must be filed with the state of Minnesota by July 1, 2021. Money for the project money comes from the State’s renewable development account, which was established as a condition of allowing Xcel Energy to temporarily store nuclear waste in dry casks outside its nuclear power plant that is adjacent to the Tribe’s reservation.
About Prairie Island Indian Community
The Prairie Island Indian Community, a federally recognized Indian Nation, is located in southeastern Minnesota along the banks of the Mississippi River, approximately 30 miles from the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Twin nuclear reactors and 47 large steel nuclear waste storage casks sit about 700 yards from Prairie Island tribal homes. A total of 98 casks could be stranded on Prairie Island indefinitely unless the federal government fulfills its commitment to create a permanent storage solution. The only evacuation route off the Prairie Island is frequently blocked by passing trains. The Tribe has been pushing for the removal of the nuclear waste since 1994 when Xcel Energy was first allowed to store the waste near its reservation. On the web: www.prairieisland.org.
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