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Pala Band of Mission Indians Receives $7 Million California Energy Commission Grant

Grant for Solar Energy Microgrid Project

Pala CA— The Pala Band of Mission Indians is proud to announce that the Tribe is a recipient of a grant award of $7 million through the California Energy Commission’s “Demonstrate Business Case for Advanced Microgrids in Support of California’s Energy and GHG Policies” funding opportunity.

The award is part of the CEC’s Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) funding. According to the CEC, this award funds, “technology demonstration and deployment projects that will deploy field examples of advanced microgrids. These projects would additionally produce business cases for scalable and repeatable standardized commercial-scale microgrid configurations with measurable benefits for end users of the selected market segments. These microgrid projects must also support California’s energy policies, reduce greenhouse gases and attract non-EPIC funding opportunities for future microgrids.”

Pala was one of four award recipients in Group 1, and received the highest score and largest funding award out of all Group 1 applicants. Working with partners from Prosper Sustainably, the Microgrid Institute, and a select technical support team, Pala prepared and submitted a proposal to develop two microgrid systems involving photovoltaic arrays, battery storage, thermal energy storage, and energy efficiency improvements that will provide increased resilience and clean energy to the Pala Casino Resort & Spa and the tribal community.

The project will also include an innovative energy exchange platform and marketplace where participants throughout the tribal community will be able to buy and sell energy in a manner that will promote energy efficiency, conservation, and renewables. To help other tribes and parties pursue microgrids for their communities, Pala will organize a Tribal Microgrid Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Group for sharing information about a variety of tribal microgrid initiatives.

“We are very proud to have received this highly competitive award, and look forward to partnering with the CEC to show how microgrids can be used to support communities, reduce reliance on fossil fuels, and demonstrate cutting-edge clean energy technologies,” said Robert Smith, Chairman of the Pala Band of Mission Indians. “We hope the Pala Microgrid Project will inspire similar projects in other communities. We are also excited to be making the Pala Casino Spa and Resort a greener and more environmentally-friendly destination.”


About The Pala Band of Mission Indians

The Pala Band of Mission Indians is a federally recognized tribe whose reservation is located along the Palomar Mountain range approximately 30 miles northeast of San Diego. The majority of the over 900 tribal members live on the 12,000-acre reservation, established for Cupeño and Luiseño Indians, who consider themselves to be one proud people – Pala.

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