Tribal Council Approves Lease for Wind Farm at Former Chilocco Indian School Site
TAHLEQUAH — The Cherokee Nation Tribal Council approved the leasing of more than 4,000 acres of tribal trust land near the former Chilocco Indian School site to wind farm developer PNE Wind. Chilocco Indian School operated from 1884 to 1980 in Kay County near Newkirk. The ground lease agreement means an additional $1 million per year, on average, for tribal programs and services over the life of the lease.
The agreement brings Cherokee Nation in line with other tribes owning land in the area to develop a wind energy project that would be profitable for all tribes involved.
“This is a great step toward advancing clean energy and moving away from coal-fired power. This is what it means to be stewards of our land,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker. “Wind energy is pollution free, doesn’t require fuel or water, and the land beneath wind farms can still be used for agricultural purposes. This project will also bring in a considerable amount of new revenue for the Cherokee Nation.”