The Northern Pueblo Housing Authority and Picuris Pueblo on solar financing from the U.S. Department of Energy.
This project was a joint effort between several parties: the U.S. Department of Energy, Picuris Pueblo, the Northern Pueblo Housing Authority, Kit Carson Rural Electric Cooperative and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). The one Megawatt solar array will generate enough electricity to generate revenues that the Pueblo will provide a stipend for tribal members to offset their electric costs.
What tools, resources or financing did you use to establish your project?
The project utilized a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, a $1.3 million twenty-year loan from Peoples Bank, as well as $61,000 from the BIA.
What benefits have you realized?
The economic benefits are enormous for a small pueblo like Picuris. From the jobs created during construction, to jobs operating and maintaining the project, as well as the revenues that will allow the Pueblo to seek other economic opportunities.
What challenges did you overcome to implement your project?
The challenges were minimal, but included finding a bank to lend to the Pueblo as well as planning for weather in our mountainous terrain.
What advice would you give neighboring communities who are trying to implement a similar project?
Start by putting a team together that is knowledgeable, has the right credentials, and makes for great partners. That is a winning equation for success!