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From Gambling to Solar, U.S. Tribes Bet on New Revenue Stream

  • Solar is the ‘new casinos,’ offering long-term steady income
  • Renewables targeted as a green path to stimulate economies

Dozens of new solar and wind projects are sprouting up on tribal lands across the U.S. as Native Americans seek new ways to boost their economies beyond casinos and untaxed cigarettes.

In the fall, Wirsol Solar AG expects to start building a 110-megawatt solar project on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. And last month, the Moapa River Indian Reservation in Nevada was announced as the site for two solar arrays expected to produce 500 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 180,000 homes. They already have a prominent customer: NV Energy Inc., the utility owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc.