Project Overview

San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians

Valley Center, CA

Project Title
San Diego Tribal Energy Collaborative

Type of Application

DOE Grant Number

Project Amounts
DOE: $500,000
Awardee: $500,000
Total: $1,000,000

Project Status
See project status

Project Period of Performance
Start: August 2016
End: March 2019


The San Diego County Tribal Residential Solar Program (the project) will consist of the design, installation, inspection, and interconnection of 42 grid-tied, net-metered rooftop and ground-mount solar electric systems, totaling approximately 170 kilowatts (kW) rated capacity. The systems will be installed on 40 qualified existing low-income single-family homes located within the San Pasqual, La Jolla, and Mesa Grande Reservations; two systems will be installed on the San Pasqual tribal education facility and the La Jolla tribal community center. Through the project, homeowners will be educated on energy efficiency and renewable energy and community volunteers and tribal job trainees will assist with the installations, gaining valuable hands-on experience.

Project Description


The San Diego Tribal Energy Consortium, consisting of the federally recognized tribes of San Pasqual, La Jolla, and Mesa Grande, are located in Southern California.

The San Pasqual Reservation encompasses approximately 2,656 acres and was established in 1910. The Reservation population is approximately 1,600 total residents, occupying 350 homes. The La Jolla Indian Reservation was established in 1875 and encompasses 9,998 acres, with a population of approximately 1,200 total residents, occupying 280 homes. The Mesa Grande Indian Reservation encompasses 1,820 acres and was established in 1875. The Reservation population is approximately 130 of the Tribe’s 800 enrolled members, living in 36 homes.

The tribal collaboration, represented by San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians, is dedicated to improving energy efficiency and implementing renewable energy, and this commitment is part of the individual Tribes’ strategic plans. This dedication is a reflection on San Pasqual’s, La Jolla’s, and Mesa Grande’s commitment to self-sufficiency and protection of the environment. Affordable energy and the Tribes’ production of their own energy will build economic and social self-sufficiency and sovereignty. This project will continue the Tribes’ collaboration in a successful model with its contractor to benefit more tribal families and job trainees.

For the past five years, through a partnership between each individual Tribe and their contractor, 73 solar electric systems, totaling nearly 280 kW of clean renewable energy, have been installed on residences throughout the three tribal Reservations. The installed systems displace 30% to 75% of each home’s electricity use while helping the low-income families save on their electricity bills and make ends meet. The proposed project will continue this very successful model as well as provide more hands-on solar job training to tribal and community members.

Project Objectives and Scope

In support of the tribal collaboration’s commitment to energy efficiency, renewable energy, and environmental protection and its vision to install solar energy systems on all buildings on the Reservations where it is technically feasible, the project goals are to:

  • Install 40 grid-tied solar electric systems for low-income families living on the San Pasqual, La Jolla, and Mesa Grande Reservations, and two solar electric systems on the San Pasqual tribal education facility and the multi-purpose La Jolla tribal community center
  • Through these systems, deploy approximately 170 kW rated capacity of clean renewable energy
  • Through these systems, displace approximately 50% of total kBtu in electricity usage
  • These systems will generate over $1.8 million worth of power for low-income families over the systems’ lifespans, while eliminating an estimated 3,750 tons of greenhouse gas emissions. Implementing these systems will also provide hands-on solar installation training to at least 20 tribal community volunteers and job trainees.

Through this project, each of the three Tribes in the collaboration will continue its successful model to advance its vision and build energy self-sufficiency. The Tribal Energy Collaborative program will deploy at least 170 kW of new renewable energy through grid-tied, net-metered rooftop solar electric systems installed on 40 existing owner-occupied, single-family homes for low-income families, as well as the San Pasqual tribal education facility and the La Jolla community center. The project will provide current, relevant, industry-specific vocational training and leadership skills in solar electric installation to at least 20 volunteer job trainees. The trainees will work side-by-side with the contractor’s solar professionals to physically install solar electric systems for the 40 low-income families and tribal facilities. Each trainee will gain a minimum of 40 hours of experience.

Project Location

The project will Install 42 grid-tied solar electric systems on 40 low-income homes and two tribal facilities located on the San Pasqual, La Jolla, and Mesa Grande Reservations in Southern California.

Project Status

The project was competitively selected under the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Indian Energy's Fiscal Year 2015 funding opportunity announcement “Deployment of Clean Energy and Energy Efficiency Projects on Indian Lands – 2015” (DE-FOA-0001390) and started in August 2016.

The November 2016, November 2017, and December 2018 project status reports provide more information.