A Yurok tribe successfully installs a solar panel from a grant fund. They commemorated the installation by having a celebration. The tribe installed a 28-kilowatt photovoltaic system, which is a type of solar panel system. They installed it on the Transportation Building of their tribe by using a Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund Grant that is given to them by Wells Fargo and Grid Alternatives. In their celebration, the tribe also took the opportunity to announce their plans of installing another solar panel system. 

The second solar panel system will be installed on the Tulley Creek Firehouse. They plan on installing a 24-kilowatt photovoltaic system. This second solar panel system is made possible because of the Cornerstone Grant, which the Charitable Foundation of the Energy Bar Association Funded. All of these projects were developed in partnership with the Humboldt State University’s Schatz Energy Research Center. 

The projects were very significant and worthy of a celebration because these are the pioneering projects that the newly created Strategic Action Plan of the tribe identified. These projects were also considered to be the first steps in fulfilling the vision of the tribe.

It is the vision of the tribe that all of their members are living in the Yurok Ancestral Territory to gain access to affordable, modern, reliable, and cost-effective energy sources. To add, the tribe is looking for an energy program promoting environmental sustainability, energy self-sufficiency, utilization of local renewable resources, creating job opportunities, and increasing the economic opportunity for all the members of the tribe.

About forty percent of all the families currently residing in the districts Pecwan and Weitchpec have no access to the grid’s electricity. Most of the energy needs of the residents of those districts are fully reliant on diesel-powered generators or gas generators. 

Both of which pose health risks to the citizens, add pollution to the atmosphere, and cost about four times more than the traditional grid energy. The Yurok Strategic Energy Action Plan’s long-term goals include outlines for creating a tribal energy program so that residents will be provided with cleaner and more affordable energy.

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