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Innovation Profile: Solar Energy for Native Communities

Pine Ridge, South Dakota

Innovative Idea Champion
Selected in 2009

Email Henry | Visit Henry’s Web site

Update: Awards and Recognition

Henry Red Cloud engaging a visitor to his booth at the Innovation Marketplace, part of CFED's 2010 Assets Learning Conference. Click here to view the burning questions Henry presented during the Marketplace.

Soon after engaging numerous visitors at his innovation station during the Innovation Marketplace event (part of CFED's 2010 Assets Learning Conference in late September), Henry was in New York City to receive the Nuclear-Free Future Award for his work in manufacturing renewable energy equipment for Native American reservations. Following that recognition, Henry was also honored by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council on October 11, 2010 and received their 2010 IREC Annual Innovations Award for the Clean Energy American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Projects category.

Update: July 2010

Since the CFED Innovation Summit in October 2009, Henry’s Lakota Solar Enterprises (LSE) and Denver-based nonprofit Trees, Water, & People have continued to coordinate and administer trainings for tribal members on solar-heating technology at the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center (RCREC) on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Most recently, ten members of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe in South Dakota were certified as Solar Technicians. In May 2010, one of these training sessions was featured in a photo journal exhibit in Denver Holding Mother Earth Sacred, by Earl Dotter and Cindy Becnel.

LSE has also produced an additional 200 solar heating systems, including 178 for the Cheyenne River Reservation, that are now being installed for families by the newly trained Solar Technicians. We have made numerous improvements to our facilities: a new cement floor in LSE’s manufacturing facility, radiant hot water heating system, and new well and plumbing fixtures in the residential area. A SkyStream 3.7 wind turbine has been installed and is providing part of RCREC’s electricity. In July, an interactive workshop on residential-scale wind turbines will be held at RCREC using the new SkyStream as a training tool.

In April 2010, LSE cosponsored Renewables on Tribal Homelands, a conference held on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota. The over 170 registrants included representatives of the Oglala Sioux, Spirit Lake, Potawatomi Nation, Ponca, Ute Mountain, Sac & Fox, and Red Lake Tribes, as well as many local Rosebud members. In June 2010, Henry presented workshops and demonstrations of solar heater installations in Oklahoma for members of the Pawnee and Citizen Potawatomi Nations.

A flyer and description of the photo journal is available at here.
The work of LSE and Trees, Water, & People was also recently highlighted on the Environmental Defense Fund’s Clean Energy Pioneers website here.

About the Innovation

Henry is creating renewable energy applications that are simple, money-saving and easy to bring to large numbers of underserved households, focusing on Native American communities.

About the Innovator

Henry is Founder and Sole Proprietor of Lakota Solar Enterprises in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. In this position, Henry has been integral in bringing solar, sustainable energy sources to Native communities.

Tags: Green Economy, Native Americans, RuralUnderserved

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