Grants allow Native Americans to put up more wind turbines
1 October 2003
Native Americans are embracing wind power to gain independence from fossil fuel in a way that supports their native culture. In North Dakota, a 1999 federal government grant is making it possible for the Ojibwa Indians to install a Vestas 660 kW wind turbine at the tribe's Turtle Mountain Community College. The tribe has already installed a geothermal heat pump at the college. After the wind turbine is installed, it says the college will become a net exporter of energy. In addition, the Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy recently awarded $2.2 million in grants to other US tribes to help develop renewable energy projects on tribal lands. With the grant, Montana's Assiniboine and Sioux tribes of the Fort Peck Reservation will also install a Vestas 660 kW wind turbine. Three tribes, all at various stages of developing 30 MW wind projects, will benefit from the grants too. They are the Rosebud Sioux, which dedicated a 750 kW NEG Micon turbine in South Dakota in April, the Northern Cheyenne tribe in Montana and the Makah Indian Nation on the north edge of Washington's Olympic Peninsula.
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