In 2007, Henry lent his family name to the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center (RCREC) as a significant expansion of LSE’s solar energy training and manufacturing efforts on the Pine Ridge Reservation. RCREC is a one-of-a-kind educational facility where tribes from all over the nation can receive hands-on training on renewable energy applications from fellow Native American trainers. To date, over 150 tribal members have received training from LSE, with 40 earning their Solar Technician I certification from RCREC. With their new knowledge and skills, tribal members can return home to start beneficial renewable energy programs and businesses in their own communities.
Since July 2009, RCREC has been powered by solar electricity—produced by a 2kW photovoltaic array donated by Namaste Solar out of Boulder, Colorado. The system was installed as part of an interactive workshop on solar electricity attended by local residents and members of the neighboring Rosebud Sioux Tribe. Besides providing sustainable power to RCREC, the array will serve as a teaching tool for future trainings in solar electricity. RCREC’s facilities also include demonstration solar heaters, a straw bale home demo site, wind turbine, green houses and garden, buffalo from the Red Cloud herd, and wind-break and shade trees. As RCREC expands its expertise, training sessions on a wide range of applications will be added, including small wind turbines, solar electric PV systems, sustainable building techniques, cellulose insulation, and organic gardening.