As local weather change adversely impacts Southwest Colorado, the Ute Mountain Ute Indian tribe plans to put money into utility-sized, renewable power initiatives to scale back its reliance on fossil fuels, scale back its carbon footprint, generate jobs, and develop new sources of tribal revenue. The Ute Mountain Ute Indian tribe has launched into an formidable, multi-year plan to construct 4 photo voltaic initiatives to generate a complete of 500 million megawatts of electrical energy to energy properties and companies in three states. Based on the photo voltaic power trade’s affiliation, one megawatt can present energy to about 164 properties. The formidable objective to turn out to be a significant photo voltaic power supplier was developed throughout the previous 10 years, when the tribal authorities started a collection of feasibility research and renewable power initiatives together with wind-generated, photo voltaic, and hydroelectric energy.
With greater than 250 days of sunshine a 12 months, Ute lands had been excellent for photo voltaic. And in 2020, the tribe accomplished development on its first photo voltaic challenge – a 2.2 million greenback photo voltaic farm situated simply to the west of Ute Mountain On line casino. The farm generates one megawatt of power. Sufficient to provide electrical energy to the on line casino and lodge, the tribe’s farm and ranch enterprises, and 100 properties.
With that success below its belt, the tribe now hopes to search out buyers and utility companions to show the solar into one other income-generating enterprise to exchange revenues misplaced from declining oil and pure gasoline manufacturing. “We actually have to take a look at the place we’re heading into the longer term. Fossil fuels should not fully gone trigger they actually result in 60 to 70% of the power for our properties. Renewables is beginning to be new. It’s been right here some time, but it surely’s beginning to come about now. Hydro is one other one. Nuclear is one other one… And we simply want to essentially work collectively to deal with mom nature, deal with mom earth. And that’s the angle of native individuals is we have to deal with the place we’re at, the place our environment are, and actually look towards the longer term.” mentioned Chairman Coronary heart.
Chairman Coronary heart mentioned the tribe now’s working with a Public Service Firm of New Mexico to construct a photo voltaic farm south of the Colorado border on US Freeway 160. Two extra initiatives are scheduled for Colorado, and a fourth for Southeast Utah to serve tribal members there. The timeline is contingent on attracting buyers.