Dana Hickenbottom, one of our Project Managers, was recently awarded for offering his time and expertise with Twende Solar’s Queets Community Center project. The Nala Award is an annual award given to a volunteer who has gone above and beyond on a Twende Solar project. “Nala” is Swahili for “gift” or “beloved.” Dana worked with Twende Solar, a nonprofit based in Portland, OR, to design a solar PV array and battery backup system for the Queets Community Center in the Quinault Indian Nation.
Over the course of five days last February, a team of volunteers from around Oregon and Washington joined together to install the system. Comprised of a combination of 75 Panasonic and Silfab Solar panels, the 23.7 kW system was designed to provide much-needed energy resiliency in this remote community that experiences semi-frequent power outages, in addition to the estimated $2,000 in annual electricity savings. In the event of a power outage, the battery backup system can power lights, refrigeration, device charging, and other essential needs.
This project also served as a workforce training opportunity for several Quinault community members to learn more about solar project development and installation, along with participating in online solar job training offered by Solar Energy International, Remote Energy, and Red Cloud Renewable. These training hours count towards certification from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).
Planning is already under way for the Quinault Indian Nation to install a 99 kW ground-mounted solar array with energy storage. Included in this project would be workforce development for tribal members, building on the momentum from the Queets community solar project. Check out Twende Solar’s video below, about the impact these solar plus storage projects have in supporting the Quinault community.
“This was such a rewarding project to be a part of and I’m so excited to see it getting installed. Twende Solar does a great job bringing people together to help create a more equitable and just world through the use of renewable energy systems.
“I hope that the training and educational aspect of this project also helps to empower members of the Quinault Indian Nation to pursue additional clean energy projects in their community.”
Project Manager, Western Solar