Franken Impressed with Reservation’s Renewable Energy
Fond du Lac Reservation Reduced Fossil Fuel Dependence by 46%
CARLTON, Minn. – To wrap up his two-day visit to the Northland, Senator Al Franken (D-MN) stopped on the Fond du Lac Reservation Tuesday.
Senator Franken serves on both the Senate Energy and Indian Affairs committees, so his visit to the reservation served multiple interests.
Minnesota’s junior senator met with Fond du Lac Band of Ojibwe officials to talk about the reservation’s renewable energy efforts.
About 5% of American renewable energy is on native land and Senator Franken believes more can and should be done to keep the U.S. on the forefront of renewable technology.
“This technology is growing by leaps and bounds.,” said Sen. Franken. “We in the United States want to be ahead of the rest of the world on this and we dis-invest in renewables at our peril.”
As part of his visit, Senator Franken toured the reservation’s 1 MW solar array, which is crucial to powering Black Bear Casino Resort.
“That provides 50% during the day at noon and during peak radience, otherwise it’s 10% 24/7,” said Bruno Zagar, Fond du Lac Energy Projects Manager.
According to Senator Franken, projects like Fond du Lac’s are big reason for Minnesota’s growing reputation as a leader in renewable energy.
“We are seen as a leader in this country, and in the world they look to Minnesota,” said Sen. Franken. “This gives us a real advantage as a state, other states are doing this, California and others, but we are a leader in this.”
After his tour, Senator Franken took a little time to meet with a group of protesters opposed to the PolyMet copper nickel mine and the Enbridge Line 3 projects.