Sierra Wave Media

Eastern Sierra News for June 14, 2024





Press release

Death Valley, CA – GRID Alternatives, a nonprofit solar contractor, in partnership with the Timbisha Shoshone Tribe will celebrate the completion of 12 pole mounted solar systems on the tribal reservation.

Solar installations bring much needed financial relief and savings to the families living in Death Valley, one of the hottest places on earth. GRID also provided jobs and hands on solar job training to the Tribal members who worked on these installations. Funding sources for these clean energy projects came from the SASH (Single-family Affordable Solar Homes) program administered through GRID, tribal grant funds, and generous in-kind donations from the Timbisha Shoshone Tribe.

GRID partners with local licensed contractors throughout California to install solar in what’s called GRID’s Sub Contractor Partnership Program (SPP).  All SPP solar project must hire one job trainee. In Death Valley, the installations were led by GRID’s SPP Partner, T.J. Chase, of Sierra Solar. The two Timbisha Shoshone tribal members who were hired to work on all 12 of these projects relied on previous GRID experience they gained through volunteering on multiple rooftop solar installs with the Bishop Paiute Tribe. All of the GRID job trainees received valuable hands-on solar training, exposing them to skills necessary to open career opportunities in the fast growing solar industry.

“We’re very excited to mark this accomplishment with our supporters and partners in the Furnace Creek area. It’s through collaborations like the one we have with the Timbisha Shoshone Tribe that we’re able to include everyone in the transition to clean, renewable energy,” said GRID Alternatives Regional Director Bambi Tran.

Various Tribal members, representatives from the Timbisha Tribal Council, and GRID Alternatives will gather at 12:00 pm on Thursday, June 2, for a Ribbon Cutting ceremony. “The Timbisha Tribe is thankful for GRID’s solar program,” said Tribal Chairman George Gholson. “It is very helpful to our people in Death Valley.”

Several residents are particularly sensitive to energy costs as summers can be very long in Death Valley. They expressed appreciation to GRID’s commitment to decrease the burden of high electric bills. Flipping the switch on solar is expected to save Tribal members approximately 50-75 percent per month. The panels are estimated to generate a total of 37.4 kW of power which translates into over $191,000 in electric bill savings over the system’s lifetime. The solar installations are part of Timbisha’s long-term vision of energy self-sufficiency on the Reservation. One of the Tribe’s goals is to provide needed savings for families that are struggling to make ends meet, while working with GRID to make measurable progress towards environmental goals.

Over the last five years GRID Alternatives has partnered with over 30 tribes nationally to install solar electric systems for more than 400 tribal member families—1.9 MW of clean power—saving them up to 75 percent on electricity costs, and trained tribal members in solar installation. GRID Alternatives formally launched its national tribal program in 2014 with a long-term goal of building permanent infrastructure to make solar power and job training accessible to tribal governments throughout the United States.


About GRID Alternatives

GRID Alternatives is a nonprofit organization that makes renewable energy technology and job training accessible to underserved communities, bringing together community partners, volunteers and job trainees to implement solar power and energy efficiency for low-income families. Almost 6,900 families have benefited from GRID’s work to date, saving $184 million in lifetime electricity costs, and over 27,000 people have received solar training. GRID Alternatives has ten regional offices and affiliates serving California, Colorado, the New York tri-state region, the mid-Atlantic region, Nicaragua international, and Tribal communities nationwide. For more information, visit

About The Timbisha Shoshone Tribe

We, the Timbisha Shoshone Tribe, being a sovereign native people, in order to organize for our common good, to maintain and foster our tribal culture, to protect and conserve our land and natural resources, to promote the social, economic and general welfare of our people, to maintain peace and order, and to secure the rights and powers inherent in our sovereign status guaranteed to us by laws of the United States.