The Mashpee Wampanoag Community Development Corporation (MWCDC) received a second grant from the Division of Energy and Mineral Development (DEMD) through its Energy and Mineral Development Program. The MWCDC received notice this week that it had been selected to receive $94,000 to further develop the Tribal Utility Corporation and a first of its kind micro-grid eco-village.
The eco-village will allow the MWCDC Tribal Utility Corporation to integrate the energy resources available to the Tribe with its facilities and support the Tribe’s new affordable housing development on Meeting House Road in Mashpee.
Mark Harding, president of the MWCDC, sees this as a natural venture for the Tribe. “At the heart of this development is the desire to close the loop with respect to natural resource production and use.” said Harding. “For centuries our people have understood the need to live and walk in harmony with the natural world. With this most recent grant, we’re now closer to incorporating those traditional ways into a modern business model.”
To assist the MWCDC it has contracted with Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP and other consultants. Baker Tilly has been working closely with the MWCDC from the initial grant award in 2016 from the DEMD in the amount of $310,000 and will continue its work with the MWCDC through the most recent grant award.
From 2016 to 2017 Baker Tilly and the MWCDC performed a preliminary feasibility study of the development of a Tribal Utility Authority, as well as the assessment of wind and solar resources on tribal lands. These studies found that deployment of solar energy generation as a viable path to offset energy costs, generate revenue, and reduce the Tribe’s carbon footprint while building internal capacity as it relates to the development and management of energy assets.
“We’re very excited to continue our work with Baker Tilly on this project and seeing it through to completion,” Said Harding. “This really is a first of its kind project and when completed should serve as a model for other native communities and other non-tribal governments that want to explore the benefits of a smart, micro-grid eco-village.”
Baker Tilly is an 80-year old professional services firm with over 2,700 professionals across the United States. They combine over 50 years of energy and utilities industry experience with a proven ability to help clients navigate energy projects from feasibility to ultimate completion.
The Mashpee Wampanoag Community Development Corporation was organized in 2016 to engage in activities that will promote the social welfare, economic security and community development of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and its enrolled citizens that will enable the Tribe to be self-sufficient and to provide economic support for its tribal citizens.
The CDC is a Board consists of at least nine Directors that are appointed by the Tribal Council/Shareholder Representatives. Two (2) positions on the Board may be filled by members of the Tribal Council. Which only one is currently filled by Shareholder Winnie Johnson-Graham. All directors are to be enrolled citizens of the Tribe. The Board is now made up with, Shareholder/Tribal Councilor Winnie Johnson-Graham, President Mark Harding, Vice President Tara Collier, Treasurer Nancy Rose, Secretary Steven Peters, BoD members Talia Landry and Angela Shwom. With 2 seats still available open to Tribal members, as well as one for a council person.