The town of Cherokee, N.C., is branching out and using new technology to save energy.
As the Cherokee One Feather reports, newly designed “solar trees” have been installed throughout town. The bundles of solar panels will help save money and energy. The project was put together by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians’ Strategic Energy Committee.
Damon Lambert, EBCI Building Construction manager, said the project includes “retrofitting the three buildings (Visitors Center located downtown, Cherokee Welcome Center, and Boundary Tree restrooms) to make them more energy efficient, installing solar thermal systems, installing solar photovoltaic panels on two facilities…”
He related that the project was funded by the Cherokee Preservation Foundation and implemented by EBCI Building Construction. It came out of the Generations Qualla initiative started four years ago by the Foundation in support of Principal Chief Michell Hicks’ Qualla Environmental Resource Proclamation.
Solar thermal panels will also be installed to provide hot water in the buildings.
Susan Jenkins, Cherokee Preservation Foundation executive director, stated, “I believe the Cherokee community and out-of-town visitors will really enjoy seeing these energy-saving projects and be impressed that this Tribal project is a model for the region and state of North Carolina.”