Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians Celebrate Construction Start on Solar & Storage Microgrid

A northern California tribe whose people have lived in the region for countless generations celebrated groundbreaking this week on a $32 million solar and storage microgrid to support energy resiliency at its casino and resort.

The Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians and the California Energy Commission (CEC) are collaborating on the solar and energy storage project at the Rolling Hills Casino and Resort in Corning, California. The microgrid is funded by the CEC.

The Rolling Hills Casino microgrid is planned to strengthen the Paskenta Band’s energy sovereignty, sustainability and resiliency. The microgrid will include 5 MW of solar panels and 15 MWh of battery storage.

“We are grateful to partner with the CEC and host this grant for this renewable energy project,” Andrew Alejandre, tribal chairman, said in a statement on the tribe’s website. “Our people have always cared for the land as it has cared for us. We continue to understand our responsibilities as people and will continue to adapt to modern ways for many generations. We are responsible for preserving our environment for future generations.”

The microgrid is expected to be commercially operational sometime in 2025. According to previous reports, the Paskenta Band will partner with Woven Energy and Faraday Microgrids on the project, utilizing flow battery technology from supplier Redflow.

Despite the tribe’s long history in the region, it was forced to fight for its status and only received federal re-recognition of the community 30 years ago, according to reports. The Paskenta land lies in Tehama and Glenn counties west of the Sacramento River.

The CEC grant was awarded last year from the commission’s Long Duration Energy Storage Program. The microgrid will provide the tribal casino complex with power but also support energy resiliency during emergencies.

“California is showing the world how to fight the climate crisis while creating good jobs and more resilient communities,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement. “We’re building more projects like these to secure a clean and reliable energy future that benefits all our communities.”

The Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians-owned Rolling Hills Casino and Resort is comprised of a casino, three restaurants, two conference centers, a brewery and distillery, an RV park and travel center, an equestrian center and a golf course. Altogether the complex employs close to 500 people.
The CEC’s Long Duration Energy Storage program statewide is investing close to $330 million for demonstrations of non-lithium-ion energy storage technologies.

Tribal Microgrids are part of the Equitable Energy Mission--Resiliency for All

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About the Author

Rod Walton, Managing Editor | Managing Editor

For Microgrid Knowledge editorial inquiries, please contact Managing Editor Rod Walton at [email protected].

I’ve spent the last 15 years covering the energy industry as a newspaper and trade journalist. I was an energy writer and business editor at the Tulsa World before moving to business-to-business media at PennWell Publishing, which later became Clarion Events, where I covered the electric power industry. I joined Endeavor Business Media in November 2021 to help launch EnergyTech, one of the company’s newest media brands. I joined Microgrid Knowledge in July 2023. 

I earned my Bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma. My career stops include the Moore American, Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise, Wagoner Tribune and Tulsa World, all in Oklahoma . I have been married to Laura for the past 33-plus years and we have four children and one adorable granddaughter. We want the energy transition to make their lives better in the future. 

Microgrid Knowledge and EnergyTech are focused on the mission critical and large-scale energy users and their sustainability and resiliency goals. These include the commercial and industrial sectors, as well as the military, universities, data centers and microgrids. The C&I sectors together account for close to 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.

Many large-scale energy users such as Fortune 500 companies, and mission-critical users such as military bases, universities, healthcare facilities, public safety and data centers, shifting their energy priorities to reach net-zero carbon goals within the coming decades. These include plans for renewable energy power purchase agreements, but also on-site resiliency projects such as microgrids, combined heat and power, rooftop solar, energy storage, digitalization and building efficiency upgrades.

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