We are nearly done with the construction of the Shield's compressed earth block home, but now we need to power it! This project will help us raise funds for a solar PV system to be installed on the Shield's new home, providing free power from the sun for many years to come.
On the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, many families have no access to the electrical grid. Those that do most often lack the resources to pay their high utility bills. Solar energy provides Native American families like the Shields with access to clean, renewable energy that is affordable and respectful towards Mother Earth. Solar energy provides a path forward towards energy sovereignty on tribal lands!
This project will not only provide the Shield's family with a sustainable source of renewable energy in the form of solar energy, it will also serve as a demonstration for tribal communities around the country. By showing community members the viability of solar energy we can begin to move this community (and others) away from a dependency on coal power and propane to a cleaner energy future, but it starts with installing this first system in the Oglala community on Pine Ridge.
The solar PV system we install, in partnership with Lakota Solar Enterprises, will provide the Shields with a long-term source of affordable (Free!) energy. In addition, it will reduce greenhouse gas emissions that would otherwise be emitted by a dirty, coal-fired power plant. The home will also stand as a demonstration for sustainable building and renewable energy possibilities on tribal lands, where access to adequate housing and energy is scarce.