QIN gets federal funding for solar power in new Generations building

The Quinault Indian Nation will receive more than $200,000 in federal funds to install solar PV and battery storage for critical loads in its new 30,000 square-foot Generations community center.

It’s part of $12 million in funding announced by the U.S. Department of Energy to 13 American Indian and Alaska Native communities for “projects aimed at reducing the cost of electricity and increasing energy security on indigenous land,” said Department of Energy Deputy Press Secretary Charisma L. Toiano on July 13.

It is the first portion of money coming out of the Department of Energy’s Office of Indian Energy this year.

The Nation will receive $201,044 to install solar cells that convert sunlight to electricity, along with battery storage for critical loads in their Generations Building. Opened in May, the building houses the tribe’s senior program, day care, emergency management services, adult education, recreation, and Head Start and Early Start programs.

“Too often, tribes in our state have been without critical support needed to withstand crises like natural disasters or power outages. It’s good to see the Quinault Indian Nation receive important funds to support ongoing resiliency measures against emergencies that could put families at risk,” said Sen. Patty Murray.

Since 2010, the Office of Indian Energy has invested over $100 million in more than 190 tribal energy projects across the contiguous 48 states and Alaska, valued at over $180 million. “Through these grants, the Office of Indian Energy continues its efforts, in partnership with native communities, to maximize the deployment of clean energy solutions for the benefit of American Indians and Alaska Natives,” read a department statement.

“The Department of Energy is committed to working with American Indian and Alaska Native communities to strengthen energy infrastructure on tribal lands,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm.

“These selections, the first from the Office of Indian Energy this year, underscore the Biden administration’s commitment to ensuring that communities disproportionately affected by climate change directly benefit from clean energy investments.”