Tag Archives: Nebraska Renewable Energy Systems

The Winnebago Community’s Renewable Energy Development A Part of Overall Mission

By Sam Burrish, Communications Manager, Ho-Chunk, Inc.

A community-scale renewable energy effort in the northeast Nebraska community of Winnebago is creating one of the largest renewable energy infrastructures in the state. A solar panel farm is among 14 renewable energy projects recently completed, part of a $700,000 total investment in renewable energy with the support of U.S. Department of Energy grants.

Ho-Chunk, Inc. and the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska received two of only 13 national awards from the DOE. The funding includes $395,000 in grants from the Office of Indian Energy at the Department of Energy and $395,000 in matching funds from tribal sources, including Ho-Chunk, Inc.

Currently, Ho-Chunk, Inc. is working with Nebraska Renewable Energy Systems for these multiple projects. They’ve installed 1,000 solar panels at 14 sites across the Winnebago Reservation that will generate over 300 kilowatts of solar power, effectively reducing energy bills by about $40,000 a year. These projects will offset 25 to 75% of total energy usage at the sites.

Solar installation sites include the Tribal Pow Wow Grounds, Winnebago Senior Center, the Senior Housing Complex in Ho-Chunk Village, and the solar panel farm on the north end of the community. The project also includes wind turbine replacement for Little Priest Tribal College.
Ho-Chunk, Inc.’s mission is to drive the socio-economic development of the Winnebago people through a world-class tribally-owned company. Their award-winning business model reinvests in the Tribe through programs including employment, housing, education and health. Located in northeast Nebraska, Winnebago has a tribal membership of 5,300.

Ho-Chunk, Inc’s Website

Images Courtesy of Sam Burrish: Robert Byrnes, owner of Nebraska Renewable Energy Systems (top photo) and the Winnebago Tribe’s Solar Panel Farm on the north end of the community, with one of Byrnes’ crew members working on it.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
Winnebago Tribe sees power from solar energy as boost to sovereignty, by Kevin Abourezk, Indianz.Com

UPCOMING EVENTS

  • Spring Ribbon Cutting
    The Winnebago Community and Renewable Energy Systems are planning a ribbon cutting ceremony later on this spring. Details will be announced in Nebraskans for Solar’s newsletter and posted on our calendar, NewsBlog and Facebook Page.
  • Summer Tour of The Winnebago Reservation’s Solar Sites
    Robert Byrnes, owner of Nebraska Renewable Energy Systems, is coordinating with the Winnebago Community to host a requested August tour for Nebraskans for Solar’ and Nebraska Solar Schools’ ListServe members. Watch our calendar and newsletters for more information.

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.