Cornerstone Project 2020

 

Cornerstone Project 2020

This year with your support, CFEBA is excited to announce they will help the Yurok Tribe, the largest federally recognized Indian Tribe in California, in its efforts to build a micro-grid that would allow the Tribe to maintain critical services and operations during extended power outages and emergencies.  

The Yurok people have inhabited lands of the Lower Klamath and Trinity Rivers, as well as along the Pacific Coast since time immemorial and have over 6,000 tribal members.  For more than twenty-six years, the Yurok Tribe has been working to provide basic energy services to Tribal members. Because of the remote location of the Yurok Reservation, however, grid electricity remains unavailable to many Tribe members, including over 40% of the residents living on the Upper Reservation where the micro-grid will be located, and roughly 40% of the families living in the area are below the federal poverty level.  

The Tribe has adopted a three phase plan to create a micro-grid at its Tulley Creek Complex, which includes critical infrastructure such as a fire center and emergency services office. The Tulley Creek Complex faces increasingly frequent and lengthy service interruptions due largely to wildfire risk.

On December 19, the Yurok Tribe celebrated the completion of phase one of the micro-grid project, the installation of a 28 kW photovoltaic system at the Tulley Creek Complex supported by a Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund Grant funded by GRID Alternatives and Wells Fargo. 

The CFEBA will largely focus fundraising efforts in 2020 on supporting phase two of the Tribe’s micro-grid plan, the installation of a 24 kW photovoltaic system on the rooftop of the Tulley Creek Wildland Fire Center, which is a necessary component of the Tribe’s micro-grid. The Tribe will apply for federal funding from the Department of Energy to complete phase three of the micro-grid project.

The Tribe’s micro-grid project was developed in partnership with the Schatz Energy Research Center of Humboldt State University, and identified in the Tribe’s Strategic Energy Action Plan.  The project is a step towards fulfilling the Tribe’s Energy Vision, to make sure all tribal members on the reservation have access to reliable, affordable, modern, cost-effective energy services.