Native American Communities

Solar farm for standing rock Sioux

Project Funded - Installation in process 

In the fall of 2016, Empowered by Light and its partners delivered solar-powered trailers to the Standing Rock Sioux as they protested the Dakota Access Pipeline (see below for more information). As a next step, we will partner with Native Renewables, GivePower, and Cypress Creek Renewables to build a 300kW solar farm on the Standing Rock reservation, which will provide over 30 years of clean energy to the community.

This project empowers the Standing Rock Sioux's future, while honoring its past and demonstrating in a high-profile way that indigenous communities across the world can leapfrog fossil fuels. While the project is fully funded, additional financial help is welcome. Please consider making a donation for ongoing support of this project.

Solar Trailers for Dakota access pipeline encampment

Installation completed: Fall, 2016

Last year, Empowered by Light partnered with actor Mark Ruffalo and Native Renewables to present the Standing Rock Sioux with mobile solar panels on trailers, bringing clean power to the protest encampment where the largest gathering of Native Americans in modern history took a stand against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

The significant and ongoing litigation and advocacy efforts surrounding the construction of the highly publicized Dakota Access Pipeline provides a unique opportunity to showcase solar as a readily available and sustainable clean energy solution.

With a capacity of over half a million barrels of crude oil per day, which would cross Lake Oahe just upstream of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s Reservation, there is significant potential risk and harm of a spill to the Tribe and the Tribe’s treaty rights to water, fishing, and hunting that sustain its people.

Navajo Nation

Installation Completed: July, 2016

The Navajo people have called the Black Mesa home for thousands of years. Since the 1960s, Peabody Western Coal Company has strip-mined the mesa, scarring the land and threatening the aquifer that supplies drinking water for the Navajo and Hopi tribes.

Sunlight is plentiful in the desert Southwest, and the Black Mesa is prime territory for solar installations that could produce clean power, create savings, and leverage energy from the sun as an educational and cultural-preservation tool. Empowered by Light is working with Navajo groups and leaders to install solar projects at chapter houses, which are community centers that host community meetings and provide services to elders and children.

Empowered by Light helped install a 6kW solar array with Tesla battery storage for the Forest Lake Chapter House in Pinon, Arizona. We are working with the indigenous-led firm Native Renewables to develop solar projects at chapter houses and schools across the Navajo Nation.