“Sustainability and being able to provide for ourselves is very important to the Winnebago tribe,” said Ann Marie Bledsoe Downes, executive vice president of community impact and engagement for Ho-Chunk Inc, the tribe’s economic development entity. “These renewable energy projects are indicators of our commitment to self-sufficiency and our desire to be good stewards of our resources.”
The Winnebago tribe plans to install 320 kilowatts of solar panels in nine locations on the reservation, to serve about 221,660 square feet. The new installation will provide electricity to two gas stations, the tribe’s casino, its accounting office and a community center, and is expected to reduce electric use at those locations by 6 percent. The tribe expects to save $47,000 annually on its electric bill as a result.