The Pueblo of Picuris (Pueblo) and the Northern Pueblos Housing Authority proposed to construct and operate a solar photovoltaic facility, which would consist of a ground-mounted, single-axis array. When operational, the solar panels would tilt to track the angle of the sun to obtain maximum energy. The electric power produced would be fed into the grid and be purchased by a local electrical co-operative. The revenue stream from the sale of power would go primarily to the Pueblo and to provide a return to a private equity investor. The Pueblo would use a portion of the revenue to cover energy costs for the Pueblo and its members, making Picuris Pueblo energy independent and creating a viable model for other tribes. Additionally, by using solar energy, the Pueblo would reduce fossil fuel energy use and carbon dioxide emissions, which contribute to global climate change.
NV5 prepared an environmental assessment (EA) for the approval of a lease for development of the property. Funding for the project included grants from the Department of Energy, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and Enterprise Community Partners. NV5 also conducted biological and cultural resource investigations for this project.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs issued a Finding of No Significant Impact.