Teaming with Local Government for Sustainable Energy

Energy Efficiency Training with Yurok Tribe

SERC Engineer Richard Engel and Graduate Research Associate Stephen Kullmann complete energy efficiency training with members of the Yurok Tribe (Photo Credit SERC).

In a December 2002 planning retreat, SERC staff agreed we wanted to do more to contribute to the betterment of our local community. We have made good on that resolution through a number of initiatives. Many of these projects have been in support of Humboldt County’s regional energy office, the Redwood Coast Energy Authority (RCEA). The RCEA is a joint powers association that was created “to develop and implement sustainable energy initiatives that reduce energy demand, increase energy efficiency, and advance the use of clean, efficient and renewable resources available in the region.”

Apart from our work with the RCEA, SERC has also collaborated with Humboldt County’s tribal governments. SERC provided and operated a fuel cell power system to provide back-up power for a Yurok Tribe telecommunications system and designed and built an off-grid residential solar electric system for a tribal elders’ home on the Yurok Reservation. SERC is now working with the Yurok to develop a tribal energy program. We are also helping a local nonprofit, United Indian Health Services, to design solar energy systems to provide electricity and hot water for their facility.

In addition, some SERC employees lend their energy expertise to local government on their own time as volunteer members of the City of Arcata’s Energy Advisory Committee and Arcata’s Planning Commission.