The free systems were installed by solar non-profit GRID Alternatives with financial assistance from the US Department of Energy (DOE) and the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC).
As part of the PUC’s Single-family Affordable Solar Housing (SASH) scheme, the Bishop Paiute Tribe headquartered in the town of Bishop aims to install PV systems on 200 houses by 2020.
The installations are part of a larger tribal solar programme involving 24 tribal communities in the states of Arizona, California, Montana, New York and South Dakota. The scheme is funded by over $1 million in grants from the DOE Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programmes, which also provides technical assistance and training.
The new systems are expected to save tribal members up to 90% off their utility bills and more than $2,000,000 over the system lifetimes, GRID said.
Mervin Hess, tribal administrator of the Bishop Paiute Tribe, said: “The savings from the installations are making a difference, especially for tribal members in the greatest need, and are a step toward becoming more self-sufficient.”
Image credit: GRID Alternatives