Solar panels installed on Seneca Nation land provide innovative renewable energy solutions

CEBA Member Highlight: Seneca Environmental

Creating Unprecedented Collaboration to Address the Climate Crisis and Benefit Historically Underserved Communities

The climate crisis requires unprecedented collaboration. We see an opportunity for that collaboration amongst the clean energy sector, the corporate world, and tribally owned enterprises to bring Earth-healing solutions to scale, for the benefit of historically underserved communities and all future generations. Seneca Environmental is a renewable energy developer and climate consultancy that is wholly owned by the Seneca Nation. Our work to develop, own, and operate clean energy projects around the U.S. will produce long-term, sustainable revenue for the Nation. In addition, our approach to developing clean energy projects focuses on providing Earth-healing solutions, embedding climate justice, and doing the most good possible — goals that are thoroughly aligned with the Beyond the Megawatt principles of environmental sustainability, equity, and resilience.

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Solar Builder: More sunlight reaches native solar development

Native solar companies are very focused on energy equity. “The term ‘equity’ gets used a lot in the cutting-edge conversations around climate solutions and usually means ‘fairness.’ What we are doing is trying to develop equity for native communities in the business sense, meaning ‘ownership’ of renewable energy assets,” says says Matt Renner, VP of Seneca Solar, owned by the Seneca tribe in New York.

“A tribally owned company like Seneca Solar flips the old, extractive model of traditional energy development to focus on equitable outcomes for Native people. Tribally owned solar development companies are working toward an equitable renewable energy transition, rather than one that re-creates the systems that have led to the current climate crisis and economic inequality,” says Renner.

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Triple Pundit Op-Ed: Do More Good with a Tribally Owned Business

By Jeffrey Ellis
CEO, Seneca Holdings

Businesses looking to amplify their environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals should consider the added impact that comes from working with a tribally-owned business. The mission of a business owned by a Native Nation is to generate income that will improve the lives of its people. Every other for-profit business seeks to maximize value for its owners. If a tribally owned business can serve your business just as well as another (or better!), your company will simply “do more good” by working with one.

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AEDG energy solutions

Triple Pundit: Seneca Solar Seeks Equitable Solutions for the Climate Crisis

Indigenous innovation is reshaping the burgeoning clean energy industry and empowering native communities in the process. Seneca Solar, a climate consultancy and solar developer wholly owned by the Seneca Nation, is expanding its strategic partnership with Alternative Energy Development Group (AEDG), a developer of commercial and industrial clean energy projects, to advance renewable energy developed and controlled by Native communities.

The mission of Seneca Solar is to profitably and equitably deliver innovative climate solutions that heal the Earth. The expanded partnership with AEDG is dedicated to reversing the extractive model of energy development on Native lands so these communities can gain energy sovereignty through participation in the clean-energy economy.

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CHERP solar factory

Solar Builder: Circular economy vision of CHERP

CHERP Solar Works is a nonprofit helping to build micro solar factories for nonprofit organizations in underserved communities across America. Last year, Seneca Solar hosted a webinar on CHERP solar factories. The webinar covered CHERP’s work to fulfill their mission of extending the reach of renewable energy to underserved communities, create green-sector jobs, stimulate local economies, pursue environmental justice, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

This Solar Builder article covers the latest on CHERP, including their plans to develop CHERP solar factories for underserved communities across the U.S. Seneca Solar has been exploring the feasibility of building a solar factory on Seneca Nation lands.

“This opportunity fits our mission to profitably and equitably deliver innovative renewable energy solutions that heal the Earth by investing in and building meaningful projects that benefit current and future generations,” says Hanna Sheridan, a member of the Seneca Nation, Bear Clan, and business operations manage for Seneca Solar. “We are excited by this partnership and our work to showcase the importance of renewable energy projects on Native lands.”

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AEDG energy solutions

Solar Builder: Seneca Solar, AEDG partnership to develop 55+ MW of distributed energy projects

Seneca Solar is expanding its strategic partnership with Alternative Energy Development Group (AEDG) to develop more than 55 MW in solar energy projects with a total capital expenditure of $135 million.

A developer of commercial and industrial clean energy projects, AEDG was the first partner to join Seneca Solar’s Certified Partnership Program. Seneca Solar is the energy solutions division of Seneca Holdings LLC, which is wholly owned by the Seneca Nation.

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AEDG energy solutions

pv magazine: Solar development partnership supports Tribal communities and corporate ESG goals

Seneca Solar, the energy solutions division of Seneca Holdings, LLC, is expanding its strategic partnership with Alternative Energy Development Group (AEDG), a developer of commercial and industrial clean energy projects.

Seneca Solar is a Tribal-owned business whose profits go directly toward supporting the on-territory needs of the members of the Seneca Nation, whose territory is in western New York. The company was established to deliver projects at scale for customers wanting their climate dollars to support historically underserved communities. Seneca Solar reports that it is building a Tribal workforce and Indigenous enterprise capacity to benefit current and future generations.

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Equilibrium blog: Five Reasons Why Carbon, Community, and Climate Go Hand-in-Hand

The climate crisis is one of the largest challenges facing humanity today. Intensifying storms in the Atlantic Ocean, Pacific islands disappearing, and disruptions to the global food supply caused by droughts and floods are all reasons to sound the alarm. While the climate crisis is a global issue, its local impacts are equally important to consider….

“Companies that want credit for being environmentally and socially responsible must include justice in their analysis,” says Matt Renner, vice president at Seneca Solar. “I don’t expect them all to become employee-owned cooperatives overnight, but at a bare minimum, they should focus on investing in historically disadvantaged communities.”

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CHERP solar factories in US map

pv magazine: Start-up plans solar manufacturing in disadvantaged communities

An ambitious startup, CHERP, seeks to launch a new ‘no hot spot’ panel, using non-profit micro solar module assembly facilities, to be distributed across disadvantaged communities. CHERP stands for Community Home Energy Revolution Project.

In a presentation hosted by Seneca Solar, CHERP put forth their nationwide vision to deploy 1,000 factories, each producing 100,000 solar modules per year. CHERP says each turnkey facility will cost about $6 million to put in place and will employ approximately 91 people.

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Inside CHERP solar panel factory

Triple Pundit: CHERP: The Nonprofit Providing Free Solar Power to Low-Income Households

It almost sounds too good to be true — clean, renewable energy that stimulates economic activity in underserved communities across the United States. Add to that, the solar panels being constructed by CHERP Solar Works are some of the most technologically advanced on the market, and — wait for it — they will provide free solar energy to the lowest income households across U.S. communities.

So wait, what’s the catch?

No catch. This nonprofit organization wants to change the traditional relationship between energy providers and energy users. They want to put ownership back in the community’s hands. To do this, they’ve also enlisted the help of Seneca Solar, which has recently worked with Indigenous communities in the U.S. so that they can become owners of their own energy assets.

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