Yakama Nation wins up to $32M Federal Award for Solar Power Project – KIMA CBS 29

1 minute, 48 seconds Read

YAKAMA NATION– A Yakama Nation clean energy project has been selected to receive up to $32 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) announced today. The Yakama Tribal Solar Canal & Hydro Project will lower electricity costs and conserve more water by converting inefficient, open-water irrigation canals that are part of the Wapato Irrigation Project into a solar and micro-hydropower irrigation system.

“This innovative new solar and irrigation project will enable the Yakama Nation to implement clean energy technologies to reduce residential utility bills by as much as 15 percent,” said Sen. Cantwell. “This pioneering project will also boost local water supplies by as much as 20 percent, critical for maintaining agricultural operations and expanding economic opportunities for the Tribe and region.”

The Wapato Irrigation Project was created over a century ago to provide water to more than 135,500 acres of irrigated agricultural land on the Yakama Reservation. The Wapato Irrigation Project is the largest irrigation project in the Yakima River Basin and the Yakama Nation has been working to upgrade deteriorating infrastructure to conserve water and reliably deliver water to farmers that produce a diverse array of agricultural products including wheat, grapes, and tree-fruit, including apples.

An important aspect of the infrastructure upgrades is modernizing the 97 miles of canals, laterals, and drains to create an irrigation system that can efficiently deliver and conserve water. The Yakama Tribal Solar Canal & Hydro project helps achieve this and generates renewable energy by converting open-water irrigation canals into a pressurized underground pipeline and building solar panels above the newly covered pipes to generate clean energy that will help reduce utility costs for Yakama Power customers.

The project will employ at least 10 full-time workers, and the Tribe plans to train and hire local Tribal members to ensure project dollars are reinvested and continue to circulate within the community.

Funding for this grant comes from the DOE Improvements in Rural or Remote Areas (ERA) program. The ERA program was created under the Cantwell-supported Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), and aims to improve the resilience, reliability, and affordability of energy systems in communities across the country with 10,000 or fewer people.

This post was originally published on 3rd party site mentioned in the title of this site

Similar Posts