BEMIDJI — Enbridge, together with project partners, flipped the switch on a new Solar Panel Project Sept. 5.

The project is a partnership with local Indigenous owned businesses Wells Technology and EW&C, along with a fourth partner, The State Group.

“This project has taken our little company from prototyping and testing and experimenting out in our fields, which we’ve been doing for the past five years.  We’ve now gone through 15 different designs, and that has brought us to the point where you see us today,” said Andy Wells, CEO of Wells Technology and creator of the solar panel system.

This project involves four solar trackers which each have a sturdy base, innovative winter-hardy motor drive, and a solar panel system from Wells Technology.  This Enbridge installation is the first commercial sale for this new alternative energy product design from Wells Technology.

“This project aligns perfectly with Enbridge’s policies.  Our Indigenous People’s Policy and commitment to doing business with indigenous owned companies here in Minnesota and with our climate change policy associated with growing our renewable energy business and keeping our carbon footprint as low as possible,” said Paul Eberth project director with Enbridge.

“This project shows that a diverse team can come together and take us closer to a new energy future,” added John Pechin who led the project for Enbridge.  Pechin says he expects the new solar panels to provide 10-20 percent of the energy used annually at Enbridge’s Bemidji area office.

“We appreciate Enbridge asking us to help on this project and we especially appreciate Andy Wells.  Although we are both Red Lake Band members, this is the first project we’ve ever collaborated on, and we look forward to working together again in the future,” said Gordon Jallen of project partner company E W & C.

Enbridge’s President & CEO Al Monaco announced June 1 the company’s commitment to targeting $100 million spend with Native-owned businesses in the U.S. as part of the $2.6 billion Line 3 Replacement Project.

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