On August 9, 2017 NE CERT and Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa co-hosted a clean energy tour of both Fond du Lac Band’s Resource Management Division building as well as Black Bear Casino Resort. The tour included a 1MW solar PV installation, LED lighting, a wood pellet biomass system and other clean energy technologies.
Joel Haskard, Co-Director for CERTs, noted that the resource management division building was a good example of what can be done to increase sustainability and clean energy. “This building is LEED certified. Here you can see the green roof, the 12KW solar system, solar tubes for lighting, LED lighting, and even motion sensors to power down the vending machines… They also used super-insulated spray foam for the walls and a storm water drainage system that feeds into a small wetlands in back. Impressive stuff!”
Bruno Zagar, Environmental Specialist and Energy Projects Manager for Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, led the tour of 30+ people around the sites. He explained additional projects nearby that were completed or in the planning stage. “We now have a recycling bundling facility—heated by a Minnesota-made Woodmaster biomass boiler—that we use to bundle and recycle our cardboard. We used to pay $15,000 to get recycling out, now instead we make $15,000 a year. We’re also looking at installing a 1.7 million BTU biomass boiler that will be able to provide 98% of our Sawyer Community Center’s heat.”
The tour concluded at the 1 MW solar array that supplies some of the electricity used by the Black Bear Casino Resort. “This solar array provides 50% during the day at noon and during peak radiance, otherwise it’s 10% 24/7,” said Bruno Zagar. The array is set in crushed gravel created from the rubble of the old casino, and wildflowers are planted around the array.