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Solar Microgrid Breaks Ground in Northern California Tribal Community

Project is funded by $32 million state grant, one of the largest to benefit a California Native American tribe

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: A cutting-edge microgrid project funded by the state will support energy sovereignty and sustainable economic growth for the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians. The project expands the deployment of important energy technologies needed for California’s clean energy future.

CORNING – Newsom Administration officials today joined the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians at the groundbreaking of a large-scale solar and long-duration storage microgrid in Corning. The project will sustain tribal operations and relieve pressure on the grid during peak use times with new battery technology that can discharge power for 18 hours.

The microgrid project received a $32 million grant last year from the California Energy Commission’s Long-Duration Energy Storage Program, a part of Governor Newsom’s historic multi-billion-dollar climate commitment. The program invests in projects that accelerate the implementation of long duration energy storage solutions to increase the resiliency and reliability of our energy infrastructure and meet the state’s energy and climate goals.

WHAT GOVERNOR NEWSOM SAID: “California is showing the world how to fight the climate crisis while creating good jobs and more resilient communities. We’re building more projects like these to secure a clean and reliable energy future that benefits all our communities.”

The project, which received one of the largest state grants ever awarded to benefit California Native American tribes, will:

  • Provide 5 megawatts (MW) of solar generation and 15 megawatt hours of long-duration energy storage at the Tribe’s Rolling Hills Casino & Resort in Corning;
  • Enhance energy resiliency by discharging power during emergencies; and
  • Lower fossil fuel use and carbon dioxide emissions.

“California Native American tribes are key partners in the state’s work to address the climate crisis, including the transition to renewable energy,” said Tribal Affairs Secretary Christina Snider-Ashtari, who attended the groundbreaking ceremony today. “Paskenta’s innovative project helps advance the shared goal of scaling up clean energy projects across the state, and supports energy sovereignty and sustainable economic development for the Tribe.”

Tribal Affairs Secretary Snider-Ashtari at today’s groundbreaking in Corning 
California’s battery storage fleet is essential to the state’s transition away from fossil fuels. Batteries absorb excess renewable power generated during non-peak times and discharge power when demand peaks, typically in the evening. The state has increased battery storage by 757% in four years – enough to power 6.6 million homes for up to four hours.
Newsom Administration officials join representatives from Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians at microgrid groundbreaking

“We are grateful to partner with the CEC and host this grant for this renewable energy project,” said Paskenta Tribal Chairman Andrew “Dru” Alejandre. “Our people have always cared for the land as it has cared for us. We continue to understand our responsibilities as people and will continue to adapt to modern ways for many generations. We are responsible for preserving our environment for future generations. This project will allow us to provide sustainable energy and most importantly increasing energy sovereignty.”

CLEAN ENERGY: California’s large portfolio of clean energy innovations are helping to meet its goals years ahead of schedule.

  • Nearly 60% of California’s electricity comes from clean sources – on track to meet the goal of 100% clean electricity by 2045.
  • California has already built out 35,000 MW of clean electricity capacity for the grid – powering millions of homes.