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Oneida Solar Energy ribbon cutting held

Oneida Reservation ~ The Oneida Nation held a ribbon cutting ceremony on Sept. 18 at the Anna John Resident Centered Care Community (AJRCCC) building for their new solar power project. The project has been placed on six facilities within the reservation and will provide 800 kilowatts of solar-electric power.

The project is anticipated to generate approximately $80,000 per year in electricity savings, but more importantly it will provide a reduction in carbon dioxide to the tune of 700 metric tons per year.

“We are very excited for this project and can’t wait to see the results,” Michael Troge, Oneida Solar Energy Project Manager, said. “We hope this project will lead to more and more renewable energy projects for us in the future as we continue to decrease our dependency on coal.”

“This is the first step in moving towards a self-sustaining nation and community,” Oneida Nation Councilman Daniel Guzman said.

In addition to the AJRCCC, new solar panels have also been placed on the Irene Moore Activity Center, Oneida Health Center, Oneida Food Distribution, Oneida Elder Apartments, and Cliff Webster Recreation Center.

“This is a significant step to, pun intended, a brighter future,” Oneida Nation Councilman Ernest Stevens III said. “The way this technology has advanced, compared to the past, shows we are in a much more efficient time not just with the energy itself but economically as well. As tribal nations this is our job and our duty and this is a prime example of something we need to do more of. We’ve been working on this with project leaders, staff members, and partners who’ve needed our committee’s support so we’ve been diligent in ensuring the envisioning behind this has that support. I, and the rest of the committee, look forward to other projects in the future in other areas that are very unique culturally and energy efficient.”

“This project is not only good business practice but as caretakers of the land we must treat Mother Earth with respect and we must utilize our resources to the best of our abilities,” Oneida Nation Vice Chairman Brandon Stevens said. “We must strive to continue to have a healthy ecosystem by sustainable practices. This project not only helps with business costs but helps us lessen dependence on finite resources and fossil fuels. The primary goal with this project is to ensure that seven generations from now these resources we have here now can still be utilized.”