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Master of Environmental Science and Management: Eco-Entrepreneurship Project

Sunstone Energy


Tribes face many challenges in navigating complexities of the renewable energy pre-development phase, especially when they lack the necessary capacity and staffing resources. Compounding this challenge is the fact that standard services available for pre-development assessments do not adequately accommodate Tribal timelines and sovereignty goals. This situation impedes their ability to secure funding and advance project development, despite the availability of billions of dollars in funding for Indigenous renewable energy projects at the state and federal levels. 

From Tribal energy research and industry guidance, we have created Sunstone Energy, an Indigenous-led company that provides Indigenous communities plans for microgrid projects in their quest for energy sovereignty. We will solve these challenges by providing simple and specialized microgrid feasibility services through an all-encompassing toolkit, mitigating project uncertainty and risk for potential microgrids on Indigenous facilities. Sunstone Energy has developed a Tribal-specific proprietary Photovoltaic Geographic Information System toolkit that compliments the microgrid software HOMER Pro, which we combine with financial feasibility analysis, and direct collaboration with engineers for the final procurement of the microgrid system.

The advantage of our toolkit is its simplified microgrid optimization and design and its focus on straightforward communication of highly sophisticated data created to be custom-fitted to the unique context of Tribal serving organizations. Our toolkits not only streamline the microgrid pre-development process but also equip Tribes with the necessary information and resources to navigate uncertainties, manage risks, and secure funding for their renewable energy projects in their journey towards energy sovereignty.