According to the Associated Press, the proposed 30-acre site for the project will contain 14,850 solar panels that will be able to generate four megawatts of solar energy or enough to power approximately 600 homes.
The project will cost $22 million that will be financed through various government loans, grants and tax credits. However, with contracts out to sell the electricity generated by the project, it was estimated that the power plant could generate $25 million revenue over the next quarter century.
“We don’t have any revenue coming in except for a little convenience store,” James Roger Madalena, a former tribal governor who now represents the tribe in the state Legislature, told the AP. “It’s very critical that we become innovative, creative, that we come up with something that will last generations without having a devastating impact on the environment.”
While Native Americans have long had interest in generating their own power, constituting the creation of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Tribal Energy Program to help fund projects, not many have yet attempted solar panel energy projects yet.
With the 55 million acres owned by various tribes across the country, the DOE predicted that solar energy projects could generate up to 17 trillion kilowatt hours per year, the AP reported.