San Carlos Apache Nation
Size: 2,927 sq. mi.
Median household income: $26,915
The San Carlos Apache Tribe is pursuing a 1.1 MW community-scale solar PV installation to provide power to its casino enterprise. With support through the receipt of a U.S. DOE START program 2013 technical assistance grant, the tribe is working with NREL to develop a PPA whereby the PV installation would be owned by the tribe, and the casino would be the off-taker. The tribe is served by three distinct electrical utilities, and the casino sits within APS territory.
The tribe also completed a feasibility study for utility-scale solar PV in the 5-20 MW range with support from the U.S. DOE Tribal Energy Program in 2012. The study identified transmission access as a prohibitive barrier and recommended focusing on community-scale solar projects and the establishment of a tribal utility authority. The San Carlos Apache Tribal Utility Authority was established in 2 after the tribe received a grant in 2011 from DOE Tribal Energy Program in 2011 with the aim of supporting the development of an independent energy organization as part of tribal government.
The tribe also has distributed-scale solar generation capacity. There is a 3.5kW ground-mounted off-grid solar PV array at the radio tower site, and a 7.1kW PV system at the radio studio building.
This information was gathered using web searches; tribal representatives could not be reached for an interview. The census data was found online and represents 2010 figures.