Nez Perce Tribe First in ID to Receive Tesla's Large-Scale Solar Battery
Thursday, November 18, 2021
BOISE, Idaho -- Idaho's first large-scale solar battery from Tesla has been installed by the Nez Perce Tribe.
The Tesla Megapack is about the size of a shipping container and will store energy from solar panels to power the Lapwai Wastewater Treatment Plant.
Josh Powell, CEO of RevoluSun, the company bringing the Tesla Megapack to the Nez Perce, said the battery reduces the tribe's dependence on hydropower dams in the region, which stand in the way of salmon populations.
"So it gives the community a lot more resilience, but it also allows people like the Nez Perce to control their energy where it's being produced where they have lands," Powell explained. "And traditionally, Native American lands... the grid is the weakest on their lands. So it's a natural place to create that support."
The tribe is calling for the removal of four dams on the lower Snake River because they are an impediment to endangered salmon and steelhead populations making their way from the Pacific Ocean to Idaho.
Powell pointed out members of the tribe were part of the operation.
"We actually trained tribal members to do the solar installation," Powell noted. "The first battery was delivered in September of this year, and that's being integrated into the system now."
Powell added some of the changes utilities have proposed for solar could slow its growth in Idaho. For instance, Idaho Power wants to change rates for net metering, the process for compensating people with rooftop solar who contribute excess energy to the electric grid.
Powell observed there have also been arguments claiming solar is only possible for higher-income people, but it has not been his experience.
"People do it for economy, typically," Powell stressed. "That's certainly what's driving the Nez Perce to do it."
get more stories like this via email
A wave of new Arizona voters in the 2020 election changed the normally conservative state to one where progressive candidates and ideas have a fightin…
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to use federal funds for a project to help keep invasive carp out of the Great Lakes. It is proposing using …
Healthcare workers at an Oregon hospital have achieved what they say is a "win" after several strikes in recent months. Nearly 300 workers and …
As Pennsylvania continues to grow its solar-energy capacity, a new report found the roofs of big-box stores present a big opportunity to increase …
If Iowa wants to create healthier outcomes for its residents, advocates say there are steps policymakers can take right now to make it happen…
North Dakota has returned a significant portion of the rental assistance provided by the federal government in the pandemic, but groups working …
Nearly 1,200 Hoosiers are about to have some of their student-loan debt forgiven, as part of a multistate settlement with the student-loan-servicing …
After a defeat on Wednesday, Democrats in the U.S. Senate say they'll keep trying to pass voting-rights legislation, and one Wisconsin group wants …