PHOENIX, Ariz. - The agencies that oversee the Arizona Renewable Energy Investment Fund (REIF) have awarded eight Native American organizations with $1.3 million to build renewable energy systems in their communities. The projects include wind and solar facilities for schools in Leupp and Kayenta, solar power for an assisted-living facility in Moenkopi and solar panels for a housing project in Peach Springs.
REIF is managed by Tempe-based Salt River Project (SRP), Tucson Electric Power and the Grand Canyon Trust. REIF was provided with $5 million in funds after the expansion of the Springerville Generating Station in 2009 to support projects that reduce pollution and benefit Native American communities across Arizona and in northwestern New Mexico. With the latest grant awards, REIF has now distributed more than $2.2 million for various community wind and solar projects.
"We received a number of extraordinary applications seeking an opportunity to create renewable-energy projects that support opportunities for sustainable economic development," said Roger Clark, program director for the Grand Canyon Trust. "In the end, we selected eight well-planned proposals from organizations that provide essential services to their communities."
"Investing in renewable energy projects is not without its challenges for smaller businesses and non-profit organizations in Indian communities," said Lori Singleton, SRP director of emerging customer programs. "REIF helps these agencies achieve their goal to reduce energy costs by using sustainable energy systems."
The eight proposals to receive the latest awards from REIF were selected based on a number of criteria, such as their ability to generate renewable energy, cost effectiveness and the ability for the project to be completed. They include: Community Building District, Waik O'Odham Foundation, $200,000; Wind/PV Expansion, STAR School, $95,000; Tolani Lake Chapter House, Tolani Lake Enterprises, Inc., $110,000; Assisted Living Facility, Hopi Office of Elderly Services, $253,000; Lonely Cactus Subdivision, Salt River Community Housing, $270,000; Wind Power for Schools (Little Singer School, Dilkon Community School, Leupp Schools, NATIVE, Shonto Preparatory School), Southwest Wind Power and West Wind Solar, $236,000; Moenkopi Day School and Hopi Day School, Hopi Tribe, $65,000; and Hualapai Housing, Hualapai Nation, $30,000.
"We look forward to the launch of these exciting projects from this round of awards, including a number of projects that will support renewable energy education opportunities in tribal communities," said Jim Arwood, a member of the REIF board.The Grand Canyon Trust is a leading regional conservation organization with offices across the Colorado Plateau.
Salt River Project is the third-largest public power utility in the nation, serving more than 950,000 electric customers in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area.
Tucson Electric Power, a subsidiary of UNS Energy, provides safe, reliable service to more than 404,000 customers in the Tucson metropolitan area.