In 2018, with the help of our partners and donors, we brought the One Spirit Allen Youth and Community Center an 18.4 kW solar energy system. The system has been going strong, offsetting over 35,500 lbs. of CO2, the equivalent of planting 266 trees, since going live that October. The Solar Battery Back-up serves to increase the impact of the solar energy being generated.
The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation is one of the poorest counties in the nation; 89% of the population is unemployed per the 2005 Department of Interior Report. In addition, the health and education outcomes are some of the poorest in the country.
One Spirit is working to change that. Through their work at the Allen Youth and Community Center they offer food, learning opportunities, engaging cultural activities, and a safe environment for children to be in.
Unfortunately, each year, dramatic weather events leave the community without power. By bringing battery back-up to the Allen Youth and Community Center we have enhanced the existing solar energy system, allowing them to have continuous operation even in a grid outage. This has enabled the facility to serve as an emergency shelter to a community in need. In addition, with the batteries, the facility is less dependent on the grid and can now use stored solar power at nighttime. Finally, these installations have helped offset rising utility rates, keeping the One Spirit focused on providing critical resources for the individuals, community and region they serve.
"The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation faces immense challenges, with poverty rates reaching staggering levels, and the majority of the population remaining unemployed" said Jeri Baker, One Spirit Executive Director. "Having a solar array with battery back-up allows us to continue to serve our population, helping to bridge the path to a brighter future for Pine Ridge and its people."
THANK YOU to individuals and organizations who have made contributions to help bring Solar Battery Back-Up to the One Spirit Allen Youth & Community Center!
Special Thanks to....
David Ellis, Alain Valette, Anonymous, Gumerlock Family Foundation.