The Bad River Band Microgrid: Solar+Storage as a Tool for Tribal Energy Sovereignty and Resilience

July 22, 2021 @ 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM ET

In July of 2016, historic floods inundated the lands of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa in Wisconsin and left the tribe without power and without critical services. In May of 2021, the Band flipped the switch on a 500-kilowatt solar array paired with more than 1,000 kilowatt-hours of battery storage. This microgrid starts their journey toward resilience and energy sovereignty. In this webinar, learn how the Band assembled the team necessary to successfully navigate the federal Department of Energy grant process, overcame obstacles created by COVID-19, and built the Ishkonige Nawadide Solar Microgrid Project (“It catches fire” in the Ojibwe Anishinaabemowin language). The microgrid was designed to withstand disasters worse than the floods in 2016, and it provides critical power to the wastewater treatment plant, the Health and Wellness Center, and an Administration Building. The Ishkonige Nawadide Project is Phase I of the Band’s path to complete resilience and energy sovereignty.


  • Dr. Imre Gyuk, Director of Energy Storage Research, Office of Electricity, US Department of Energy
  • Dan Wiggins – Tribal Energy Manager for the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
  • Bill Bailey, Cheq Bay Renewables
  • Amy Simpkins, muGrid Analytics
  • Tim Zdrazil, Faith Technologies
  • Shelley Robbins, Clean Energy Group (moderator)

This webinar was presented by the Energy Storage Technology Advancement Partnership (ESTAP) and by Clean Energy Group’s Resilient Power Project.