The Siletz Tribes have embraced solar power in a big way. They showed off their latest solar array mounted atop a parking area that serves half of the power that is needed for the Siletz Tribe Recreation Center indoor basketball courts in Siletz. Claire Wood, Project Coordinator, said the carport solar panels were paid for by a large Federal Environmental Protection Agency grant. All of the power is aimed at providing the gym with light and heat. Anything left over goes to the regular “grid.” That means it’s distributed statewide.
Claire Wood and Tracy Bailey, who’s a construction manager, were on hand as EPA funded grants provided solar panels that were placed atop a parking garage area at the Siletz Tribal Recreation Center in Siletz. The solar panels provide power to run the tribe’s indoor gymnasium. Next door at the Tillicum Recreation Center there are solar panels on the roof with more solar panels. Even more will be placed on the south wall of the building. Those panels will provide more than enough power to keep the place lit up and warm. Any surplus power left over will go into the regional electrical grid.
The tribe also has solar powered street lights that are kept on through around midnight, being run by batteries that are charged up during the day when the sun is shining.
Wood says the Siletz Tribes are expecting to do more solar projects. Already a nearby apartment building gets its hot water from solar power.
Siletz – definitely entering the era of green energy.