During the 2013 Clinton Global Initiative America meeting last week, leaders from six Sioux Indian Tribes and former President Bill Clinton announced a new wind power initiative to spur long-term project development on tribal lands in South Dakota.
Arent Fox LLP is providing legal and public policy counsel for the initiative. According to the firm, the planned projects – which will involve the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, Crow Creek Sioux Tribe, Oglala Sioux Tribe, Rosebud Sioux Tribe, Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate and Yankton Sioux Tribe – could cost approximately $3 billion and result in 1 GW to 2 GW of power annually.
The majority of the funding will come through the sale of bonds by a Multi-Tribal Power Authority, which are expected to be made available to investors in about two years, following a critical planning and preparation stage. For this reason, Arent Fox says the Tribes have partnered with the crowdfunding platform Rally.org to seek donations and raise general awareness for the initiative.
The Arent Fox team representing the Sioux Tribes includes former North Dakota Sen. Byron Dorgan, co-chair of the Government Relations practice.
"Having served as chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, I understand the strong desire of the Indian Tribes to build "Indian owned' wind power projects to create new jobs and affordable power for their Tribes," said Dorgan in a statement.
"This project is a unique opportunity for the Sioux Tribes in South Dakota to chart their own destiny. They live on lands that are rich with wind resources, and they can use those resources to build a large wind energy project that can both help the Tribes and produce clean, renewable power for our country for decades to come," he added.