Energizing the Future: Marimn Health and the Coeur d’Alene Tribe’s Solar Initiative at the Coeur Center

By April 2, 2024General

In a move towards renewable energy on the Coeur d’Alene Reservation and in partnership with the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, Marimn Health is proud to announce an exciting solar panel project at the Coeur Center. This project illuminates our collective commitment to renewable energy and marks a significant step toward an environmentally friendly future on the Coeur d’Alene Reservation.

A Partnership Rooted in Sustainability

The collaboration with the Coeur d’Alene Tribe’s Natural Resource Department demonstrates a shared vision for reducing carbon emissions. “This project has been a wonderful partnership between the Tribe’s environmental programs office, Marimn Health, and our contractors at Niimiipuu Energy. We are grateful for the support from the Office of Indian Energy, the Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund, and the Bonneville Environmental Fund, which made this project possible,” says Laura Laumatia, Environmental Programs Manager for the Coeur d’Alene Tribe. “This solar installation, the third here on the Reservation, is a great demonstration that solar is possible and an important tool to reduce our emissions, improve our energy resilience, and provide an economic benefit to our organizations!”

Training the Next Generation

One unique component of this project is the involvement of the Nez Perce Tribe and Niimiipuu Energy, who were chosen to install the solar panels. In addition to installing the panels, Niimiipuu Energy provided specialized training in solar panel installation for Coeur d’Alene Tribal community members. This training aspect ensures that the project’s benefits extend beyond energy efficiency by fostering skill development and creating job opportunities in the growing field of renewable energy. Ten individuals from the Coeur d’Alene Reservation took part in this training. Congratulations to Ron Torpey, Mus Torpey, Sam Vincent, Noah Carillo, Joseph Bonnell-Hall, Todd Johnson, Corey (Gauge) Anderson, Ralphlyn Lansing, Jay Matt, and Vance Campbell for completing this training.

Why the Coeur Center?

As Marimn Health’s newest building, the Coeur Center is a prime location for solar with optimal sun exposure and high visibility to the community. More importantly, the Coeur Center is a hub for youth activities, which positions it as an ideal platform for inspiring and educating the next generation about the potential of renewable energy as a means of environmental preservation and as a viable career path.

The solar panels will sit on two separate rooftops of the Coeur Center. They will serve as supplemental power and will help offset the building’s energy costs during the day. Installation began on April 1 and will take around a couple of weeks to complete.

Lighting the Way For Future Generations

This project represents our commitment to renewable energy and an investment in our community’s health, well-being, and prosperity and reminds us of our responsibility to the planet and to generations to come.

We extend our heartfelt thanks to the Coeur d’Alene Tribal Council and the Tribal Health Board for supporting renewable energy on the Reservation. Thanks also to current and past Tribal Natural Resources staff and to Marimn Health’s Facilities and Coeur Center teams for supporting the installation.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony is tentatively planned for the end of April. Stay tuned for updates on the solar panel installation and details on the upcoming celebration.


Megan Clark

Author Megan Clark

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