Late last month, the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe cut the ribbon on a new solar array located in Hinckley.
The array was built near the powwow arena as part of a partnership between Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures (MLCV), East Central Energy, and NextEra Energy Resources.
According to the MLCV, the array was built with the goal of preserving the sacred land that it was built on, lessening the carbon footprint made by MLCV and its subsidiary organizations.
“Today, the world is really caught in the cycle of relying on fossil fuels. We all know that those are destroying our Earth and climate. As a tribal government, we really work hard to make sure that, whatever we do, we are preventing climate change,” said Melanie Benjamin, Executive Chief of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe.
NextEra Energy Resources developed and will own and operate the solar array; ECE will purchase the array’s output and sell to MLCV. MLCV is leasing the land to NextEra for free over the next 30 years.
MLCV says the array is already making an impact since going live on May 3, claiming it has had the same effect as planting more than 18,000 trees and lowered carbon emissions by 725,000 pounds.