The Moapa Band of Paiute continue to show their faith in the power of the sun. The tribe is building the first giant PV array on Native American land but today announced that it completed the installation of a 252 kilowatt concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) system with energy storage. The off-grid microgrid system provides power at the Moapa Paiute Travel Plaza along Nevada’s I-15 North, which has been recently remodeled with energy efficiency at the forefront.
The new hybrid microgrid system includes nine of Soitec’s 28 kilowatt Concentrix dual-axis CPV trackers tied to a central inverter. The off-grid system includes a battery bank and three efficient Tier 4 generators, allowing the Travel Plaza to operate during evening operations. The new system is estimated to save the tribe roughly $700,000 in the annual fuel costs to power the plaza.
“There are endless opportunities in renewable energy,” said Aletha Tom, chairwoman of the Moapa Paiute Tribal Council. “This project will help to create a model for other Tribes to follow.”
The project was supported by a grant through the USDA Rural Utilities Service (RUS), through the High Energy Cost Grant program and was built by Stronghold Engineering, who also designed it. The grant also supported the installation of efficient LED lighting at the plaza. The program provides funding for energy efficiency improvements in areas with energy costs at least 275 percent of the national average, Stronghold Engineering said.
“This innovative hybrid microgrid project will deliver reliable, affordable power to the Moapa Travel Plaza, the largest employer of the tribe,” said John Padalino, RUS administrator. In addition to fueling, the plaza includes Native American art, a café, recreational supplies and fireworks. “USDA funding of this innovative 252 kilowatt solar facility is fundamental to economic opportunities of the Moapa Tribe and aligns with their commitment to environmental protection.”
“It is such a privilege to be a part of this off-grid, clean tech hybrid project that represents a first for so many entities in both the public and private sectors. A first for Native Nations, USDA, Soitec, the State of Nevada, the U.S., and our very own company, Stronghold Engineering,” said Beverly Bailey, CEO, Stronghold Engineering.Tweet