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Bishop Paiute Solar Celebration: GRID Alternatives, Tribal Members, and the Department of Energy Commemorate Residential Solar Installations

Grant funding from the Department of Energy allows GRID Alternatives to provide solar systems and job training for Tribal members. The Earth Day celebration marks the conclusion of Phase II projects.


The Bishop Paiute Tribe is hosting an Earth Day event that includes a community clean up, an artisan market with environmentally themed booths and entertainment. The celebratory event focuses on 56 GRID Alternatives Inland Empire solar systems on tribal lands and the 18 tribal members who trained nearly 725 hours during two phases of construction. Project funding was through grants awarded by the Department of Energy (DOE) and the California Public Utilities Commission’s Single-family Affordable Solar Housing (SASH) program.

The headlining speaker is Chris Deschene, Director, Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs at the DOE. Mr. Deschene (Navajo Nation) has more than 20 years of management and policy experience, along with extensive tribal relationships and deep expertise in energy development, environmental policies, federal Indian law, and government affairs. Earlier in his career, Mr. Deschene served with the U.S. Marine Corps as an infantry and reconnaissance officer and completed his service as a Major in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. He has served with distinction and completed two tours in the Persian Gulf, first with the infantry and second, with reconnaissance units.


Date: Saturday, April 22

Time: Speaking Program begins at 11:30 am

Location: Owens Valley Paiute-Shoshone Cultural Center

2300 West Line Street, Bishop, CA 93514


The impact of these systems is evident in terms of kW installed, cost savings and job training. The GRID installed systems will generate approximately 217 kW of power. From a cost savings standpoint, homeowners typically save 50-90% on their electric bills. Total savings over the system’s lifetime for the 56 tribal home sites is expected to be over $2,035,000.

Equally important is the job creation component of GRID’s Solar Affordable Housing Program. The 18 tribal members received free training in an industry that is growing 15-20% each year. Solar has provided well-paying job opportunities to local tribal members who are interested in driving down electric costs in underserved communities while contributing to a cleaner environment.

Both homeowners and job trainees will be available for media interviews during the event.

CONTACT: Cliff LeBlanc | 951.228.9380 | [email protected]



GRID Alternatives is America’s largest nonprofit solar installer, bringing clean energy technology and job training to underserved communities through a network of community partners and philanthropic supporters. GRID has installed more than 8,100 solar electric systems for low-income families and affordable housing providers with a combined installed capacity of more than 29.2 megawatts, saving more than $235 million in lifetime electricity costs, preventing more than 634,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions, and providing more than 30,000 people with solar training. GRID has eleven regional offices and affiliates serving California, Colorado, the Mid-Atlantic, the New York tri-state area, Tribal communities nationwide, Nicaragua and Nepal. For more information, visit




The Big Pine Paiute Tribe of the Owens Valley is hosting a community garage sale on April 22, 2017, 8 a.m. to noon, at the Alan Spoonhunter Memorial Gymnasium (1050 S. Richards Street in Big Pine). All are welcome. Don’t buy new if you can respect the Earth by reusing items. Come browse for treasures, look for deals, and barter or trade. Sign in to join us for a sandwich and receive a reusable shopping bag. To inquire about vendor space, please stop by the Main Tribal Office, 825 S. Main Street, by April 19.


Earth Day will be celebrated around the globe on April 22. This year, on that same day all around the world, people will be coming together to March for Science. Marches will be in celebration of our passion for science and the need to respect and encourage research that gives us insight into our world.

On Saturday, April 22 the newly formed group INYO350, along with 350Mono and the Sierra Club will be sponsoring a March for the Earth in solidarity with the global ‘March for Science’ and the ‘People’s Climate Mobilization’ March. All are welcome to gather in the back of the Bishop City Park at 9 am Saturday morning for songs and speeches, a blessing, and cheers for our local scientists. The March will proceed along Main Street from 9:30 – 10:30am.

The Eastern Sierra is blessed with an amazing abundance of natural and cultural resources that attract scientists from around the world to spend time doing research here. Some come for a season or two, others spend a lifetime studying this amazing corner of the globe and applying their learnings toward its protection. Their subjects range from the soils beneath our feet to the heavens above; from our precious water resources to the civilizations that lived here 10,000 years ago. Their research and their actions help to keep our water and our air clean, and help to protect the species of animals and plants that make this part of the world their home.

The sponsors of the March for the Earth want to invite ALL local scientists and researchers to join us on Earth Day and help lead the March, bringing awareness and recognition to the vital role that science plays in our lives and our communities.

It is a time for all science advocates, educators, researchers and concerned people who support and value science to join together with those around the globe, advocating that “science not be silenced.” For more information on INYO350 or the March for the Earth please email them at [email protected] and follow them on Facebook or contact the Sierra Club at [email protected]


The Lone Pine Paiute-Shoshone Reservation invites the community to participate in the Fifth Annual Lone Pine Tribal Earth Day Celebration on Saturday, April 22, 2017 from 9:00AM-1:00PM at the Lone Pine Paiute-Shoshone Reservation Gymnasium located at 1145 E-Sha Lane. This year’s theme: “Our Planet, Our Responsibility-We’re in it Together

Event Schedule:

9:00AM-10:30AM Reservation Roads clean-up.

Meet at the Tribal Gymnasium at 9:00AM. Groups will be assigned and transported to designated roadways for a team clean-up activity. Bring hats, gloves and sunscreen. (Safety vests, Water bottles will be supplied.)

10:45AM-12:00PM Community Outreach Fair.

Activities will include: Earth Day Crafts/Games, Water Conservation, Energy Efficiency, Climate Change, Bioremediation, Food Dehydration, Food Preservation, Pollinators, Drought Resistant Plants/Awareness, Gardening, Cultural Resource Protection, Healthy Eating, Community Awareness and Eco-Friendly Food Service.

12:00PM-1:00PM Participant Luncheon

Collaborative Partners: Lone Pine Paiute-Shoshone Reservation Administration, Lone Pine Paiute-Shoshone Reservation Environmental Department, Owens Valley Career Development Center-Lone Pine Tribal TANF, and Lone Pine Tribal Youth Education Program.

For more information you can contact Lone Pine Paiute-Shoshone Reservation Environmental Director, Mel Joseph at 760-876-4690.