Schatz Energy Research Center

SERC Helps United Indian Health Services Go Solar

UIHS roof
Solar panels atop the maintenance wing of the UIHS facility. (Photo courtesy of UIHS)

Local health care provider United Indian Health Services (UIHS) recently received a grant from the State of California to install a 40-kW solar electric power system on the rooftops of two wings of UIHS’s Potawot Health Village here in Arcata. SERC assisted UIHS in developing a conceptual design for the system and writing their grant proposal. Once UIHS received funding, they retained a professional solar contractor to install the system and hired SERC to help them with other aspects of the project.

For starters, we are developing interpretive materials to explain how the system works and promote renewable energy. The display SERC is developing will include an interactive computer display showing how much power the system is producing in real time, as well as a static display sign and a brochure visitors can take with them. UIHS wants these interpretive materials to convey to its clients and staff the connections between clean energy, health, and Native American values of living sustainably on the land.

SERC will also help UIHS with quality assurance, making measurements to ensure the solar system is generating as much power as it should. Finally, we will provide a training workshop for the UIHS community at large to increase understanding of clean energy resources and encourage greater use of these resources among Tribes in northwestern California.

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