Tribal Renewable Energy
Lakota Solar Enterprises
LSE began as an expansion of Trees, Water & People's solar heater work on Pine Ridge. After several years of successful small-scale installation, it was time to create a local manufacturing facility capable of producing a greater number of solar heaters in a systematic way.
Headed by Henry Red Cloud, a respected Lakota elder and a fifth-generation descendent of Chief Red Cloud, Lakota Solar Enterprises initially received pre-manufactured solar panels and then built the support structure for the unit before installing them at each recipient's home. Beginning in 2007, a re-designed solar collector panel was developed, which is now put together at the LSE facility as well.
Manufacturing the units on the reservation has many benefits: LSE provides jobs and job training in an area where both are scarce, money stays on the Reservation where it is desperately needed, and reliance on outside materials and labor is reduced.
In 2006, having installed well over 100 solar heaters on the Pine Ridge reservation, LSE branched out to begin installations on the neighboring Rosebud Sioux Reservation. In 2007 LSE participated in Rosebud's Clean Energy Education Partnership and oversaw the Little Thunder renewable energy project, a demonstration home with windbreak and shade trees, a solar air heater, solar electric (photovoltaic) panels, and a small wind turbine. So far, more than 800 supplemental solar heating systems have been installed at Pine Ridge, Rosebud, and other reservations.
Please visit www.lakotasolarenterprises.com to learn more.