A 37.5-kilowatt solar array is under construction on the roof of the Delaware Nation’s complex in Anadarko, Oklahoma. Tribal officials project the new solar project will supply 30 percent of the tribal complex’s electricity and help the nation save thousands of dollars and create new jobs in southwestern Oklahoma, reported the Native American Times.
The solar panel should be completed next month. The tribe matched a $250,000 U.S. Department of Energy grant to fund the project. Delaware Nation President Kerry Holton estimates the tribe will recoup the costs within five to eight years.
The tribe isn’t stopping there. They have started manufacturing LED lights at a nearby plant and may assemble modules for solar arrays in the near future, Holton told the Native American Times.
“Green technology is the wave of the future and it certainly fits in with our culture. We might as well embrace that and make it a part of our economic development,” Holton told the newspaper.
While the nation may pursue wind and geothermal projects in the future, the tribe decided to wait until wind energy developed further and focus on solar power for the time being.
Escondido, California-based Eco One Energy LLC built the solar array for the tribe. Holton said the tribe is in discussions to assemble solar array parts for the company, although he provided no time frame for when that might happen.