BMIC receives grant funding for green projects

BAY MILLS — Bay Mills Indian Community has been awarded a $200k grant from the Grid Alternatives-Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund that will allow the tribe to continue its mission of “going green.”

The goal of the TSAF is to strengthen renewable energy in tribal communities by providing resources to support the growth of solar energy and expand solar job opportunities across Indian Country.

By receiving this funding, BMIC joins GRID Alternatives and the TSAF in demonstrating success of implementing solar power projects that meet community needs, including education, hands-on training, and energy cost reductions for tribal citizens.

BMIC requested funding for a solar and battery backup project for two of the Tribe’s critical service facilities on reservation – the Justice Center, which consists of Bay Mills Police Department and Tribal Court; and the Armella B. Parker Senior Center.

BMIC plans to implement just under 20 kW at each location on the south-facing roof surfaces, and integrate that amount of solar pv with high quality battery storage systems at each location. This project will provide critical power during utility outages and shave the more expensive peak demand power needs, along with nearly $10,000 of direct utility savings per year.

In addition, the Armella B. Parker Senior Center is designated as safe haven emergency facility by Bay Mills for which the solar battery backup will also provide critical energy services during power outages or extreme weather incidents. The next step in the process is to bid out the project, which will be completed by August 2023.

“As Bay Mills Indian Community works towards developing and building infrastructure we have also renewed our commitment to being good stewards of the land,” said President Whitney Gravelle. “Renewable energy development is about creating sustainable practices that provide a healthier environment and healthier culture for future generations.”

Earlier this year BMIC installed solar panels on the newly constructed Boys & Girls Club of Bay Mills. This project kicked off their campaign for going green. Additional projects include installation of electronic vehicle chargers and an energy study, which are expected to be completed in the next year.

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