Thanks to a grant from the Bureau of Indian Affairs Energy and Mineral Development Program, SERC has begun a project with the Cher-Ae Heights Indian Community of the Trinidad Rancheria. The Rancheria owns a portfolio of properties that includes multiple tribal operations buildings, homes, the casino complex and restaurant, the Trinidad Harbor pier and boat launch facilities, as well as the Seascape Restaurant, and its wastewater treatment plant.
Concerned about environmental impacts and ever-increasing energy costs, the Rancheria has hired SERC to perform an energy use assessment to determine ways in which energy consumption can be reduced as well as to examine the feasibility of producing renewable energy locally. Renewable energy resources being investigated include solar, wind, and biomass.
The Rancheria is taking the long view. Their goal is not only to reduce energy consumption and expenses, but also to substantially reduce the carbon footprint of all of their individual members and businesses while working towards energy independence. The project is set to wrap in December; we will provide a final update in our Winter edition.