Arizona investment fund awards $1.3 million to Native American groups for wind energy projects

The agencies that oversee the Arizona Renewable Energy Investment Fund (REIF) have awarded eight Native American organizations a total of $1.3 million to build renewable energy systems in their communities.

The projects include wind power and solar energy facilities for schools in Leupp and Kayenta, solar power for an assisted living facility in Moenkopi and solar photovoltaic panels for a housing project in Peach Springs.

REIF is managed by Salt River Project, Tucson Electric Power and the Grand Canyon Trust. After the expansion of the Springerville Generating Station in 2009, REIF was provided with $5 million in funds 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 power and solar energy projects.

The eight proposals that received 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. Wind-related awards include $95,000 for a wind/PV expansion (7 kW) at the STAR School, $236,000 for Wind Power for Schools (12 kW wind) to Southwest Windpower and West Wind Solar (award includes 7 kW solar), and $65,000 to Moenkopi Day School and Hopi Day School (5 kW wind)(award includes 3 kW solar).

By Carl Levesque, AWEA Editor & Publications Manager,