red cloud Renewable Energy center
In 2006, Henry created Lakota Solar Enterprises, one of the only 100% Native-owned renewable energy companies.
Soon after, in 2008, Henry and Trees, Water & People opened the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center (RCREC), a significant expansion of LSE’s solar energy training and manufacturing efforts on the Pine Ridge Reservation. The RCREC is a one-of-a-kind educational facility where hundreds of tribal members from all over the nation have received hands-on training on a wide array of renewable energy applications from fellow Native American trainers and our solar industry partners.
The Center exists on 10 acres of land nine miles north of the village of Pine Ridge, the capital of the Oglala Lakota nation. It is a renewable energy and sustainable living demonstration area as well as a training facility that can house up to 30 students, visitors and interns. It is also the home of three Lakota families, and children of all ages mingle among the hundreds of students and guests that pass through the Center.
At RCREC, we have many renewable energy demonstrations, including several solar electric arrays, solar furnaces, solar water pumping, solar radiant floor heating, mobile solar power stations, a green house, wind-break and shade trees, and several solar lighting demonstrations. We have also built a compressed earth block (CEB) office, as well as two straw bale residential buildings.
Our many students and guests primarily stay at the Sacred Earth Lodge, which is an educational and residential facility at the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center. The Lodge is available to rent to visiting universities, churches and other groups.
Also located on the RCREC property is the Solar Warrior Farm. The Farm has a “row-crop” area that is usually growing vegetables and herbs for local use, educational purposes and distribution at the local Diabetes Clinic and other tribal buildings. Additionally, we are developing a Lakota Forage program on RCREC’s entire 10 acres. Here we identified a variety of locations where Lakota traditional foods are already growing (e.g. wild grapes, chokecherries, buffalo berries, Jerusalem artichokes, wild plums, wild turnips, wild onions etc.). We are currently seeking funding for the making of a self guided tour booklet and to nurture and expand these natural areas and add in additional ones as well.