HAPPY CAMP, CA – The Karuk Tribe is now underway with, what will ultimately be, one of the most ambitious independent green energy endeavors in Northern California. The tribe has matched a Department of Energy (DOE) grant of nearly $2 million, to build a massive three-acre solar farm on its property adjacent to their tribal gaming enterprise, Rain Rock Casino.
The goal of the project is to reduce the environmental impacts of conventional energy sources, while increasing the stability and reliability of power access in the surrounding rural areas. One portion of the funds aims at providing solar-driven energy to their casino operation and administrative trailers. The other portion will be used to substantially offset the electrical consumption at the tribe’s wellness center and 39 tribal elders homes in Yreka, Happy Camp and Orleans with solar power.
The tribe projects that they can offset the casino’s and administration trailers’ current electrical usage by as much as 90 percent. The project will be split between the Karuk Tribal Housing Authority (KTHA) and the Rain Rock Casino.
“Our focus will be on providing reliable solar-driven energy that will help mitigate frequent power interruptions, planned and unplanned, that currently disrupt our wellness center and the communities Happy Camp and Orleans,” said KTHA Director Sara Spence. “Going solar will also help ensure the safety and security of our elders who reside in the affected communities”.
The ambitious endeavor is in line with Chairman Russel “Buster” Attebery’s vision to create a fully sustainable business model. He, along with other tribal leaders and members, believe this is a quantum leap in that direction. Going forward, Chairman Attebery and the Karuk Tribe are fully committed to doing all that is necessary to continue down the path of sustainable business practices in all of their tribal communities and endeavors.