September 4, 2014
Photo: R Walker/creative commons
The Eastern Band of Cherokee recently opened up a native plant nursery, growing their own supply of native plants to assist their conservation work. The tribe has also installed solar trees and solar hot water to help reduce its energy footprint. Now Triangle Business Journal reports that, with the help of the NC Clean Energy Technology Center located on NC State's Centennial Campus, the tribe is applying for $4-$7 million in Federal grant money which will be used to fund clean energy and energy efficiency projects.
If the application is successful, the money will come from The U.S. Department of Energy’s Tribal Energy Program which has already funded over 200 clean energy projects in tribal lands across North America. Any Federal funding will need to be matched by the tribe's own funds. Isaac Panzarella, project coordinator for the NCCETC, told the Triangle Business Journal that the tribe has put together a solid plan for reducing its environmental impact:
“The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians had a strategic energy plan developed in 2009, which basically laid out potential things they could do and indentified strategies to fund this. I think they have a good plan in terms of resources and energy efficiency improvements,”
Head over to Triangle Business Journal to get the full story.