The Prairie Island reservation sits in the shadow of an Xcel Energy nuclear plant and radioactive waste storage facility, seen here. In the shadow of an Xcel Energy nuclear power plant, the Minnesota reservation plans to make a big investment in solar, a microgrid, and energy efficiency. The Prairie Island Indian Community in Minnesota is expected to name a consultant this month to help propel the tribe toward net-zero emissions. The tribe announced its intent to offset all of its energy emissions in early 2018, but details have been sparse about how — or how fast — it would proceed. The process is expected to pick up in the coming months thanks in part to $46 million in funding allocated last spring by the Minnesota Legislature. Shelley Buck, president of the Prairie Island Tribal Council, said the effort has the potential to “change the narrative” of a community that has long been associated with its close proximity to the Xcel Energy nuclear power plant and radioactive waste storage facility that shares its namesake. “Not only will we be one of the first tribal nations to achieve this critical [net-zero] goal, but we will also serve as a model for […]

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