Potawatomi Tribe Successfully Completes DOE-Supported Solar Energy Project in Wisconsin

The Forest County Potawatomi Tribe has completed a solar photovoltaic installation project in Milwaukee, funded in part with $2.6 million from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The project is one of five Community Renewable Energy Deployment (CommRE) projects that received DOE funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and is the first to be completed. DOE’s CommRE projects help communities implement long-term renewable energy technologies, create jobs, and provide examples for replication by other local governments, campuses, and small utilities.

Located on the rooftop of the Tribe’s administration building in Milwaukee, the solar energy system was installed by Milwaukee-based Pieper Electric and features locally manufactured panels from Milwaukee-based Helios USA, LLC. The Tribe estimates the system will produce approximately 35,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 41 tons annually.

Additionally, the Potawatomi Tribe will install a 1.25-megawatt combined heat and power biomass facility, which will provide electricity and heating and cooling to its Stone Lake campus. The project will also supply additional electricity and heat for the Tribe’s various buildings on the reservation, utilizing organic waste from its facilities, member’s homes, restaurants and Tribal lands.

Other CommRE projects include:

  • A combined heat and power district energy system for the City of Montpelier, Vermont
  • The 30-megawatt, community-owned, Haxtun Wind project in Phillips County, Colorado
  • A 1.5-megawatt concentrating solar photovoltaic system along California Highway 50 and biogas digestion systems in Sacramento, California
  • High-efficiency buildings and renewable energy systems at the University of California at Davis’ West Village community that will serve as a model for net-zero communities.

CommRE projects receive technical assistance from DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory on concepts, best practices, planning, financial approaches, and policy guidance.

DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy invests in clean energy technologies that strengthen the economy, protect the environment, and reduce dependence on foreign oil. Read more about the Potawatomi Tribe’s solar installation on the Energy.gov blog, and learn about the other CommRE projects.


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