Tribe installs first Tesla Powerwall North Dakota
MHA Nation Installs First Powerwall in North Dakota with Partnership from Indigenized Energy
The Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation (MHA Nation) proudly announces the installation of the state’s first Tesla Powerwall, marking a significant milestone in the integration of sustainable energy solutions within Native American communities. The initiative was undertaken in collaboration with Indigenized Energy who is supporting the MHA Nation on a number of energy transformation initiatives.
The pilot project serves as an assessment tool for the costs and benefits associated with integrating solar installations and backup batteries in homes. A key focus has been on ensuring that Elders and tribal members who are most vulnerable have access to reliable power, especially considering the frequent power outages faced by the community.
One of the standout achievements of this initiative is that the installation was led by a Native-run contracting business, Native Brothers Services, led by Daylon Fox of the MHA tribe. Fox shared his journey that began at a workshop organized by the Indigenized Energy team on the Standing Rock reservation. Expressing his pride, Fox says, "This is a big moment. I'm proud. I look forward to helping bring this crucial technology to Native communities where it's most needed."
Cody Two Bears, Executive Director of Indigenized Energy adds, "In our journey working with various tribes, one constant theme is the emphasis on protecting our Elders from power outages. Now, we're assisting multiple tribes in planning programs to install solar systems and backup batteries in homes of the most vulnerable."
Tesla, the global leader in sustainable energy solutions, has been instrumental in this project. "Tesla was an important partner. They sent Eddie Tamayo, a Powerwall installation expert, who not only supported the project but also provided training." said Daniel East.
Fred Fox, a councilman for the MHA Nations reflecting on the larger implications of the project, stated, “This is an important project for us. We need to gain experience with these technologies so that we can be confident about deploying them at a larger scale. We hope this project also sets an example for other tribes who are considering these kinds of strategies.”
This project is part of a larger effort in which the MHA Nation has engaged Indigenized Energy to explore ways that renewable energy development and grid resilience improvements can be adopted by the tribe. As a part of this effort, the MHA Nation is forming a coalition of tribes to pursue federal funding from programs like the EPA Solar for All program that is intended to bring solar and energy storage to the hundreds, if not thousands, of homes in the Northern Plains states.
Daylon Fox (MHA Nation) proudly and Cody Two Bears (Standing Rock Sioux) present the installation of the first Tesla Powerwall in North Dakota as part of a solar+battery storage demonstration project in White Shield, ND