SAGE Development Authority, the first public power authority owned by a single Native nation in the U.S., has launched a new crowdfunding initiative that marks the next phase of development for its 235 MW wind farm, Anpetu Wi.
The wind farm will be located on the Standing Rock Reservation, between Porcupine and Fort Yates, N.D., home to the Lakota and Dakota people of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe (SRST). The project represents a community development model to produce renewable energy that offers a path toward self-determination and sovereignty for Standing Rock and other Native nations. No tribally owned public power project in the U.S. has achieved this level of development to date for a utility-scale wind farm.
SAGE, which stands for Strategic, Advancement, Goals and the Environment, is charged with leading Standing Rock’s efforts at developing renewable energy resources for economic development. Anpetu Wi (meaning ‘the breaking of the new day’ in the Lakota language) will be an enduring revenue source for SRST and will support Standing Rock in providing essential needs such as schools, roads, healthcare and housing development. The reservation, located in North and South Dakota, has a poverty rate of 40% and an unemployment rate of 70%, underscoring the need for the revenue provided by the project.
“Developing renewable energy resources – for export as well as local consumption – will foster badly needed economic development on the reservation and provide employment and skills training,” says Fawn Wasin Zi, board chair at SAGE. “We believe the new website will help people understand who we are, what we stand for and serve as a critical vehicle to enlist people to help us make lasting change.”
The launch of the new crowdfunding initiative, which aims to raise $1.5 million as its phase-one goal, is the next step toward achieving the building of Anpetu Wi. It follows the milestone of SAGE submitting its application for interconnection to the Southwest Power Pool. Nearly $2 million has already been raised to date from nine different philanthropic foundations for pre-development work to establish SAGE, which will also take advantage of the enhanced market economics that come with qualification for the 2020 Federal Production Tax Credit. The total cost of the project is estimated to be $325 million.
Foundation partners include The Wallace Global Fund, The Sierra Club Foundation, The JPB Foundation, The Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples, Tamalpais Trust, The Cedar Tree Foundation, The Christensen Fund and a generous anonymous donor.
SAGE is working in partnership with special advisors LIATI Capital LLC, Connexus Capital LLC and Hometown Connections Inc. which offer technical, financial and general institutional support, with the express purpose of helping realize this goal.
For more information on SAGE’s crowdfunding initiative or to donate to the development of the Anpetu Wi wind farm, click here.
Photo: SAGE Development Authority’s landing page