Oceti Sakowin Solve Fellowship


Rock Solar Community Offset Project

Renewable energy workforce development production for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe

Team Lead

Joseph McNeil

Basic Information

Our Solution

Rock Solar Community Offset Project

Our tagline:

Renewable Energy workforce development production for Standing Rock Sioux Tribe

Our pitch:

Solving the problem of affordable power for economically distressed populations within the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

Building community offset solar power plants for communities up to 150kw each with multiple plants for each community. 

Will allow residents to afford a better quality of life, food, medicines, clothes, home and community crime, provide hope and inspiration for generationally depressed communities. 

Where our project is located:

Fort Yates, ND, USA

The topic our project addresses:

  • Solar
  • Infrastructure
  • Housing
About Your Solution

What makes our project innovative:

This application is being piloted currently at Cannonball ND, we would take this project and replicate it with seven other of our other communities. We will take a census of each communities average income, occupation, student size and grade level to compare before and after economic relief is provided by way of cheaper power to gauge it's impact.

Same model can be used commercially in communities co-op model to provide long term investment in systems that will provide electric power relief for the next generation in depressed rural towns in Mid-America. 

How we use technology in our project:

Electric usage will be based off previous years usage, monitored by each solar plant subsection to realize the total electric generation from the solar cells. The credit will be given to each household to reduce the total cost of electricity, thusly freeing available money to be used for other purposes such as clothes, food, propane, internet, insurance, vehicle purchase, maintenance and use. Blind surveys on assignment of power credit to determine income, uses and amount of income and uses afterward.

Our project goals over the next 12 months:

Formulate a team of individuals from the Community Development Finance Institute, Sitting Bull College Engineering Dept, Community Development Corporations to begin initial planning with SOLVE Team. To engage with he Cannonball Project to produce the ground mounts, brackets and casing for the initial project, if that opportunity is not available then for the next project whether that be in Cannonball or another community district. Establish zones in each community for solar panel plant use, as well as contingency fund discussion for each community to set aside for maintenance and replacement of cells. 

Our vision over the next three to five years to grow and scale our project to affect the lives of more people:

To establish multiple 150kw systems either Solar, Wind, combination of both, or newer technology, in Ft.Yates or Porcupine ND for low income families to assist in the ability to afford a better quality of life. Sell system access for those who want more the buy more as well as those outside the initial systems to buy offset power through solar cell, wind turbine purchase outright. 

Highlights from our project:

Discussion with the Local CEO of MorGranSou, Electric Co-Op and the Tribal Council and Tribe with myself on the future of renewable energy development for the Tribe and our membership.

The cities where we operate or plan to operate in the next 12 months. First city:

Fort Yates, ND, USA

Second city:

Porcupine, ND, USA

Third city:

Cannon Ball, ND, USA

Fourth city:

McLaughlin, SD, USA

Fifth city:

Little Eagle, SD, USA

How our project will be accessible and affordable to our community:

It will cost the community set aside from annual operation allocation a maintenance/replacement fund for those purposes.

How many people we are currently serving with our project:

In initial development from another entity in Cannonball ND.

How many people we will be serving with our project in the 12 months and the next 3 years:

250 people in 47 homes in Porcupine ND

About Your Team

How our project team is organized:

Hybrid of For Profit and Nonprofit

How many people work on our project team:


How many years we have been working on our project:

Less than 1 year

Our revenue model:

Revenue will be grant funded to start and will move into a commercial production and installation of solar systems for community use.

Partnership Potential

Why we are applying to Solve:

I believe Solve can assist with the formulation of the business plan, operations research and planning with current systems and those upcoming in the industry that the average buyer is unaware of. Systems to monitor performance, maintenance needs and replacement. 

The key barriers for our project:

Knowledge of renewable energy systems, connections and network for site, plan development and business planning.

The types of connections and partnerships we would be most interested in if we became Fellows:

  • Organizational Mentorship
  • Technology Mentorship
  • Impact Measurement Validation and Support
  • Media Visibility and Exposure
  • Grant Funding

Solution Team

  • Joseph McNeil President, Standing Rock Development Corporation
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