The Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska's economic development arm, Ho-Chunk Inc., has acquired grant funds totaling $394,500 from the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs. The Woodland Trails projects were part of a larger portfolio of projects. These PV systems are the densest concentration of PV systems in Nebraska, a state that has been slow to embrace solar.
“Winnebago is going solar,” Ho-Chunk CEO Lance Morgan said. “These grants are really a big deal for the whole community. Ho-Chunk Inc. has always been committed to finding ways to be less dependent on traditional electric and gas energy for our operations. Over the years, we have saved thousands of dollars with solar projects on many of our buildings in Ho-Chunk Village. However, these new grants will allow us to make a greater impact with energy savings across the reservation. As Native Americans, we feel it is the right thing to do for our environment. Historically, we lived in harmony with our land, and want to do so again. As with our mission to be economically self-sufficient, we want to be energy self-sufficient as well and look at all opportunities to make that happen. We don’t want to be reliant on anyone else but ourselves for our long-term needs."