CORNING, CA – The Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians has announced the development of a large-scale solar and energy storage project funded and approved by the California Energy Commission (CEC). The solar and storage microgrid will enable the Paskenta Tribe to power its operations using a sustainable and resilient renewable energy solution. The project is part of the tribe’s efforts to achieve energy sovereignty by aligning its energy infrastructure plans with its economic development plans.
“Our tribe has prioritized energy planning since 2018 and we are proud to be the recipients of this historic renewable energy infrastructure project that will enhance our energy security,” said Tribal Chairman Andrew “Dru” Alejandre. “As stewards of the land, it is our responsibility to ensure we operate sustainably and preserve our environment for future generations. This new project supports our tribe’s goals of reducing our carbon footprint.”
As one of the largest solar and energy storage projects in Indian Country, the development of alternative energy resources will reduce the tribe’s dependence on outside energy providers and brings the benefits of electrification to the community. These infrastructure investments are part of the tribe’s efforts to implement sustainable and resilient renewable energy solutions as it seeks to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and reduce its carbon footprint. The project will also provide much-needed energy stability to the tribe given the increased rolling blackouts and current grid instability caused by the increasingly frequent and extreme regional wildfires. The tribe aims to reduce its global carbon footprint by achieving a reduction of approximately 2,500 tons of carbon dioxide annually. The investment also highlights the foundational benefits these alternative energy resources provide for tribal communities, including the reduction of electric costs and support of their economic development.
The microgrid will include 20 MWh of battery energy storage, supplied by Redflow, along with approximately 5 MW of solar PV generation. The battery system is designed to charge primarily from solar on site and will discharge throughout the remainder of the day, which will reduce the overall grid demand. With the capability of generating approximately 80 percent of the tribe’s energy needs, the microgrid will improve the reliability and resiliency of electricity at key tribal facilities and will significantly reduce the tribe’s energy costs.
“We are honored that the California Energy Commission has approved funding for Paskenta’s tribal microgrid,” said Damon Safranek, CEO of the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians. “This project marks an important milestone in achieving Paskenta’s energy sovereignty objectives.”
The project is funded by the CEC’s $140 million Long Duration Storage Program aimed at supporting the development of non-lithium energy storage technologies to enhance long-duration energy storage. The tribe has partnered with Woven Energy to achieve its renewable energy and energy sovereignty goals. The Paskenta Tribe’s microgrid will be built by Faraday Microgrids and utilize flow battery technology supplied by Redflow, a global leader in clean energy storage based in Australia, for the supply of the battery system.
The Paskenta Tribe plans to break ground on this new project end of 2023. The microgrid is expected to be commercially operational by 2025.