Minnesota non-profit lands $6.67 million grant to build new inter-tribal EV charging network

November 2021

Native Sun Community Power Development is a Native-led non-profit that promotes renewable energy, energy efficiency, and a just energy transition through education, workforce training, and demonstration.

They worked with over two dozen partner organizations recently to create an EV network connecting Standing Rock, Red Lake, and other Tribal nations. The project, scheduled for 2022, includes 19 new electric vehicles for Tribal governments, fifty-nine fast chargers, and sixty three level II EV charging stations. Whoa!

CERTs touched base with Native Sun Executive Director Robert Blake to congratulate him on the funding announcement and to learn a bit more. 

What was the catalyst for this project?

Our response to the DAPL and line 3 pipelines. They're going to build oil pipelines and we’re going to build an EV pipeline.

What excites you the most about this project?

The ability to bring this technology to communities that normally wouldn’t be able to get it otherwise. Doing some workforce development and operation and maintenance training around this for community members. That excites me. 

What advice would you give a young, Native person thinking about getting into the clean energy industry?

I would tell them to do it and never look back. This is the future and they will always have a job.

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