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Grant awarded for solar energy at Leech Lake, Minn.

PINE RIVER, Minn. - Rural Renewable Energy Alliance, a Backus-based nonprofit, has been awarded a grant to fund a 200kW shared solar array in the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe community. Shared solar arrays, or community solar gardens, are centrally located solar electric systems that provide energy to participating subscribers off-site. The electricity generated from this community solar garden will be designated to recipients of Minnesota’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

Funding was provided by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative‐Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources. This will be the first community solar installation on tribal lands in the country, a release said.

The system is scheduled to be commissioned later this year in collaboration with Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Energy Assistance Program, Leech Lake Financial Services, Leech Lake Housing Agency, Leech Lake Tribal College, Cass County Economic Development Office, Region 5 Development Commission and with support from the McKnight Foundation, Headwaters Foundation for Justice, LCCMR and the Initiative Foundation.

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