Native-led clean energy groups collaborate on electric vehicle charging network
Tribal communities in South Dakota, North Dakota and Minnesota are working to end reliance on fossil fuels.
A new project, the Upper Midwest Inter-Tribal Electric Vehicle Charging Community Network, will further that goal.
The Department of Energy has awarded a $6.7 million grant to Minneapolis-based Native Sun Community Power Development. It will work in collaboration with Standing Rock Renewable Energy Authority and two dozen other partners.
In a press release following the award, Native Sun Executive Director Robert Blake highlighted the contrast of this plan with oil pipeline projects.
"This is our answer to the fossil fuel industry," Blake said. "Big oil is going to build pipelines, a thing of the past. We are going to build the future with an EV charging network and will continue to fight for Mother Nature and the sacred."
The team plans to create 120 electric vehicle charging stations. This network will link tribal communities spread across nearly 500 miles in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.
In addition to the stations, at least 19 electric vehicles will be purchased to be used by reservation schools, utilities, casinos and tribal governments.
Standing Rock Renewable Energy Authority and Native Sun are among 25 nation wide projects awarded funding by the Department of Energy.