Leaders on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation are looking to go green by using wind turbines to provide power. The first phase of this renewable-energy project kicked off at Prairie Wind Casino, where three wind turbines are going up to power the building.
At a groundbreaking ceremony Friday, Oglala Sioux Tribe President Bryan Brewer couldn't hide his excitement when pushing his shovel into the ground. He says this project was many years in the making. "We'll be able to start producing our own power," said Brewer.
This will save the casino money on electrical costs. "It will provide about 70% of the energy used by our casino right now, and so that's quite a bit," said Brewer.
This project has Switching Gears to thank for financial support. This organization funds renewable energy projects like the wind turbines. "It gives us the opportunity to invest in communities that
need it the most," said Barth Chief Eagle Robinson, marketing director with Switching Gears.
Brewer says the plan is to eventually put turbine farms across the reservation.
The turbines at the casino will go up in a month. Brewer says this project costs $3 million.