Nimiipuu Energy Provides Presentation Inviting Tribes to Unite in an Energy Cooperative
Las Vegas, Nevada- Today, during a breakout session at the 2022 Reservation Economic Summit (RES), Nimiipuu Energy made a presentation, “The Virtual Power Plant in Indian Country: if Done Right, Could Outshine Gaming in Magnitude,” on what a Virtual Power Plant (VPP) is, the opportunities a VPP can create for tribal nations and how Nimiipuu Energy can assist other tribes with getting started.
Nez Perce Tribe Executive Director Jesse Leighton, RevoluSun CEO Josh Powell, Department of Energy representative Matt Ferguson, and Shawn Jacobson of Swell Energy all participated in the VPP presentation. The focus of the panel was on the opportunity to have an energy cooperative and connect all the tribes to a shared energy resource. Under a VPP, each tribe establishes their own solar/ storage systems and then each tribe connects to the same grid. Therefore, when energy costs are high in one area of the country, the VPP can provide energy from a tribe in another part of the country for lower cost through storage systems.
Additionally, as excess energy is stored in batteries, there will be opportunities to generate revenues by selling the power to outside sources establishing a potential billion-dollar enterprise. The cooperative method will also generate a new workforce, creating jobs and skills training, and a number of potential opportunities in between.
This concept of an energy cooperative is one that has already been tested on a smaller scale. Swell Energy has started smaller VPP projects, two in California and another in Hawaii. The programs have shown success and Nimiipuu Energy is looking to expand this idea and launch it on a larger scale across Indian Country by assisting other tribes through assessment, planning, design/engineering, project financing, procurement, project build-out and service agreements. DOE also shared information on their direct lending capability to provide capital for tribes developing energy projects, up to $2 billion.
Nimiipuu Energy, an energy cooperative, has been created with a singular focus; to utilize advancements in alternative technologies and software to generate 5,311 MW, rendering the four Lower Snake River Dams obsolete.