Federal Grant of $4 Million Green-lights Solar Power for Fort Mojave Tribe
The Fort Mojave Indian Tribe is set to see a significant boost to their power service, thanks to a major infusion of funds aimed at supporting solar energy initiatives.
U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Gina Raimondo, made an announcement on Wednesday, revealing that the Department’s Economic Development Administration is set to award a $4 million grant to the Fort Mojave Aha Macav Power Service. The funding will be used to foster the development of a novel source of clean and renewable energy on the Fort Mojave Reservation through the establishment of a 2.3-megawatt solar power system.
The implementation of this project is predicted to either create or retain about 50 jobs, as per the estimates from the grantee. This initiative aligns with the Biden administration’s commitment to renewable energy and job creation, supporting the local economy while encouraging sustainable practices.
Secretary Raimondo, in a press release, noted, “President Biden is committed to supporting tribal communities and investing in renewable energy. This EDA investment will support green jobs and clean, affordable electricity for residents of the Fort Mojave Reservation.”
Alejandra Y. Castillo, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development, reiterated this sentiment. She expressed her satisfaction at being able to support the Fort Mojave Aha Macav Power Service in their mission to construct a resilient and sustainable tribal economy. The project’s potential to limit carbon dioxide emissions was also highlighted, underlining the Biden administration’s commitment to a future prepared for climate change.
The Fort Mojave Indian Tribe (FMIT) is one of the few tribes in the United States that have established an electric and natural gas utility owned and operated by the tribe itself. The company was formally established under a tribal charter authorized by the Fort Mojave Tribal Council in July 1991. Since its inception with a single installed meter, the company has expanded to approximately 1,000 meters by 2007.
The company is instrumental in providing electrical power service to homes and businesses situated within the Fort Mojave Indian Reservation. In addition to this, it provides natural gas for the Avi Resort and Casino and the Mojave Crossing Events Center. AMPS has transmission interconnections with WAPA, SWTCo, and UniSource.
In May 2008, AMPS completed a significant project that involved the engineering, procurement, construction, and energization of a new interconnection with Needles. This project greatly enhanced the reliability of the transmission service to the city.
Governor Katie Hobbs commended the grant, noting the challenges tribal leaders face in meeting the basic needs of their communities. “This grant not only facilitates a clean energy future, but expands access and creates good paying jobs in the process. This is a model for what’s possible when we invest in our communities, no matter their zip code.”
Senator Kyrsten Sinema and Senator Mark Kelly also applauded the investment, emphasizing its benefits for the local community, the environment, and Arizona’s standing in renewable energy production.