Tag Archives: Lance Morgan – President and CEO of Ho-Chunk Incorporated

Ho-Chunk, Inc., owned by the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, will install 320 additional kW of solar PV

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced today nearly $9 million in funding for 15 tribal energy infrastructure projects. This funding through the DOE Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs will help Native American and Alaska Native communities harness their vast undeveloped energy resources to reduce or stabilize energy costs, as well as increase energy security and resilience.

These energy projects, valued in total at nearly $25 million, are the result of a competitive funding opportunity announcement (FOA) announced February 16, 2018.

Ho-Chunk, Inc., owned by the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, will install 320 kW of solar PV to serve nine tribal facilities. This project will add 320 kW of installed solar capacity to the existing 400 kW, for a total of 720 kW toward the Tribe’s near-term goal of 1 MW.

  • Read the entire news release here.
  • Additional information and links to news stories are posted here.
  • To learn about DOE’s recent investments in tribal communities, visit the Office of Indian Energy’s project successes page.

Photo: The Winnebago Tribe’s Solar Farm

Thank you to everyone who attended The Winnebago Tribe’s Solar Development Tour!

Many thanks to everyone who joined us for the tour, including representatives from Ho-Chunk, Inc. and other solar enthusiasts from Ho-Chunk Village, Lyons, Sioux City, South Sioux City, Blair, Tekamah, Lincoln, Omaha, and Boston, among other places.

Special thanks to our tour host, Robert Byrnes, owner of Nebraska Renewable Energy Systems and The Winnebago Tribe’s Sustainability Director. For many years Robert has been on the front lines of policy development within Nebraska. He lives on a small off-grid farm in Lyons, where he raises beef, poultry and pork. Robert is an organic chemist by education and an industrial chemist by trade. His work in that field resulted in the first and largest commercial biodiesel plant in eastern Nebraska. His current focus is on opportunities in solar and wind energy development in our state.

Top Photo Credit: David Corbin, Nebraskans for Solar Board Member. (Some attendees not in the photo were still visiting with one another and others had left to start the tour).
Photo of Robert at his farm: NET

Stats from a handout that Sam Burrish, Ho-Chunk Inc’s
Communications Manager, provided at the tour

Winnebago Renewable Energy Projects

Our significant progress in 2017 works toward larger goals of Tribal self-sufficiency and good stewardship of the environment. In 2017 Ho-Chunk, Inc. and the Winnebago Tribe made an investment of over $700,000 in renewable energy with the support of U.S. Department of Energy grants. The tribe received one of only 13 national awards from DOE.

The total project funding breakdown:

  • $374,653 in Grants from the Office of Indian Energy at the Department of Energy
  • $374,654 in matching grants from Tribal sources, including Ho-Chunk, Inc.

Ho-Chunk, Inc. has worked with Nebraska Renewable Energy Systems for these multiple projects in 2017.

Highlights Include:

  • 1,000 solar panels installed at 14 sites across the Winnebago Community. These include: Pony Express, Veterans Park, Ho-Chunk, Inc. Headquarters, and the Senior Center.
  • These projects will offset 25% to 75% of total energy usage at these sites.

Future Plans:

  • Continue clean energy projects in Ho-Chunk Village
  • Develop clean energy strategies in the development of Ho-Chunk Village 2.0
  • Explore outside partnership efforts (investors, tax credit leveraging, etc.)

If you missed the event and would like to enjoy a self-guided tour of the beautiful Winnebago Reservation and see, firsthand, why their community’s renewable energy development is a model for 100+ other tribes nationwide, here are the directions, below. (The drive is also picturesque):

From Omaha, 77N or 75N through Winnebago and turn left into parking lot for Pony Express/Titan Motors on the north side of town. Solar Farm is on north side of commercial spaces.


Winnebago Reservation to add 1,000 solar panels

By Ty Rushing, Sioux City Journal

WINNEBAGO, Neb. — The Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska is going green in a big way. The reservation plans to install 1,000 solar panels across 13 sites that will generate more than 300 kilowatts of solar power that are projected to reduce energy bills by about $40,000 a year . . . Additionally, Ho-Chunk is working with Nebraska Renewable Energy Systems to bring more green projects to the reservation, a list that includes replacing the wind turbine at Little Priest Tribal College, installing a solar panel farm near the Pony Express convenience store on the north end of the reservation, and more. Click here to read more, including the list of projects.

Shown is a rendering of a solar panel array that will be built on the north side of the Winnebago Reservation near Titan Motors and the Pony Express convenience store. Thanks to grants acquired by Ho-Chunk Inc. as well as matching funds provided by the economic development corporation, the reservation is slated to have 1,000 solar panels installed across 13 sites.

The Intertribal Council On Utility Policy: Tribes Building Sustainable Homeland Economies

Debbie Sandia Tribal SolarFrom the Intertribal Council on Utility Policy’s Home Page
Up to ninety cents of every dollar the Tribes spend on energy leaves immediately- lost forever to all of the economic leverage and benefits this money could create within tribal communities. Reservations deeply need to preserve their scarce financial assets, and having these disappear to distant corporations and foreign lands due to poorly insulated buildings presents a major energy and fund wasting problem.

Intertribal COUP and partners are working to convert these energy problems into solid opportunities to build tribal energy independence and greater economic strength. Our solutions include creating new energy efficient structures made from local straw bale construction materials and built by Tribal College faculty and students through a ‘Train the Trainer’ program teaching specific straw bale building skills and techniques.

Intertribal COUP is also building capacity for energy audits and retro-fits of structures that waste energy and deplete community assets.

To learn more about ICOUP and DOE’s Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs, visit:
Intertribal Council on Utility Policy (ICOUP)
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs 

YouTube Video: Investing in Tribal Success: DOE’s Tribal Energy Deployment Program
U.S. Department of Energy Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs: Strengthening Tribal Communities, Sustaining Future Generations (PDF)

Christopher Clark Deschene
“Within every challenge lie the seeds of opportunity, and I believe tribes are well-positioned to cultivate those seeds through visionary leadership and strategic energy planning.”
– Christopher Clark Deschene, Director, U.S. Department of Energy Office of Indian Energy

Ho-Chunk, Incorporated’s initiative in Winnebago, Nebraska provides an excellent example of tribal renewable energy development in our state.
Ho-Chunk Inc
Nebraska’s first tracking solar system and now one of a growing number of solar installations throughout the innovative and award-winning Ho-Chunk Village – Winnebago, Nebraska.
From Ho-Chunk, Inc’s Green Energy Program Description: “Because of our Native heritage, we have a commitment to conserve and protect our natural resources for future generations. That traditional belief is coupled with cutting edge technology to create renewable energy sources on the Winnebago reservation.”
Ho-Chunk, Inc.’s Green Energy Initiative 
Ho-Chunk Village Tour 
2014 Ho-Chunk Inc. Story Video 

lancemorganLance Morgan is President and Chief Executive Officer of Ho-Chunk, Incorporated. He launched Ho-Chunk, Inc. in 1994 as the economic development corporation for the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska.  During his association with Ho-Chunk, Inc. he has directed the development of 30 subsidiaries with operations throughout the United States and in five foreign countries.

Source: Corporate Management, Ho-Chunk, Inc.