Nez Perce Tribe to Reveal Plans for Virtual Power Plant at RES2022

Lapwai, Idaho- The Nez Perce Tribe is anticipating an exciting reveal at the 2022 Reservation Economic Summit (RES) May 23-26, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Executive Director, Jesse Leighton will lead an educational breakout session offering tribes the opportunity to take part in a Native-led Virtual Power Plant (VPP).

Nimiipuu Energy is a tribally owned energy company working toward eliminating the Tribe’s energy purchased from outside sources; by producing all of the energy we consume. Our plan is to install a variety of energy projects that will total 500+ Megawatts by 2027,” stated Leighton. “In addition we are a utility cooperative dedicated to implementing 5+ Gigawatts of alternatively produced power throughout Indian Country.”

A VPP is a network of distributed power, generating units and/or storage systems that can be interconnected through software management. Each system is independently owned and operated, but the network is controlled centrally allowing dispersed resources to respond to energy supply and demand. Tesla is currently building the world’s largest VPP with a projected 50,000 residential solar + battery systems in South Australia, totaling 250 Megawatts.

To date, Nimiipuu Energy has completed three solar installations and four other projects are already underway. Additionally, projects are also beginning on residential homes located on the Nez Perce Reservation.

“Our goal is to produce 500+ Megawatts and become completely self-reliant for energy. The ultimate objective now, is to provide this opportunity to other tribes by offering assistance to develop and implement their own systems that can interconnect with the VPP, creating the largest network of systems in the world,” Leighton concluded.

The “Virtual Power Plant in Indian Country” breakout session at RES will take place Wednesday, May 25 from 11:00 a.m. – 11:50 a.m. (PST).