2022 is gearing up to be a record year for renewable energy development, especially for the solar industry.
Solar is expected to contribute to about half of all energy generating projects in 2022, according to The U.S. Energy Information Administration.
With several of our community solar projects expected to be in service in the upcoming year, we are excited to be part of this solar growth. As our country continues the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy, there's a major topic that has not been talked about: native land.
At one point in North America there were upwards of six hundred native tribes- long before the Mayflower landed, long before the signing of the Declaration of Independence, long before greed took hold.
This greed still takes hold to this day.
Native land has frequently been taken by force and utilized for coal mining, oil, and gas drilling projects. Additionally, these projects have negatively affected these communities via contaminated water supplies, driving out local wildlife (thus affecting food sources,) and active disrespect of sacred culture.
The native community has never been compensated fairly (or at all) nor have their input been valued for major decisions that directly affect them.
It's time we, as a solar company, and members of the renewable energy industry, take charge and make active, conscious decisions on responsible solar development
When we are in the site review process we have to take careful consideration of the location of the site and known protected native land, sacred land, burial grounds, and anything related to the matter. If the site falls into any of those categories, we won't build there. Truly, it is against our morals as a company to do so. Luckily with the advanced software and maps available today we are able to detect these areas earlier on in the process and make informed and well-researched decisions.
It's not just about following regulations, codes, our own tried and true processes- it's about doing what is right by the community in which we aim to operate in. We believe that clean energy should be accessible to every community under the sun- and that includes native communities, and they deserve a seat at the table.
If you're interested in learning more about our process or questions about community solar in general, please send us a message!