WINNEBAGO, Neb. – A major investment will almost double the solar electricity generated across one of
Nebraska’s largest renewable energy infrastructures.
An investment of $728,622 will fund installation of solar panels at nine new locations in the Winnebago
community. The expansion will add 320kW solar capacity to the current 400kW, increasing energy savings by
“Sustainability and being able to provide for ourselves is very important to the Winnebago Tribe,” said Ann
Marie Bledsoe Downes, Ho-Chunk Executive Vice President of Community Impact & Engagement. “These
renewable energy projects are indicators of our commitment to self-sufficiency and our desire to be good
stewards of our resources.”
The investment includes a $364,311 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Indian Energy and
$364,311 in matching funds from Ho-Chunk, Inc., the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska and partners.
The new installations will include the Blackhawk Community Center, Ho-Chunk, Inc.’s accounting offices, two
Pony Express convenience stores and other businesses.
Winnebago is already home to one of the largest renewable energy infrastructures in Nebraska. The initiative
began in 2007 when Ho-Chunk, Inc. installed five wind turbines at its properties to offset energy use.
Last year, a thousand solar panels were installed at 14 sites across the community, including the Tribal powwow
grounds, elder housing and solar panel farm adjacent to U.S. Route 75 at the north end of Winnebago. That
investment was $749,307, also funded with DOE grants and matching funds.
The money saved through the initiatives is invested in community programs.