4Native Village Youth and Education News
February 1, 2009 Issue 194 Volume 4

Native Solar Power Lights up U.S. Military

CROWNPOINT, N.M. Sacred Power, a Native owned and operated solar energy company, is joining up with Cyberlux to produce energy efficient products for the U.S. Department of Defense.

"We began collaborating on the set of needs the DoD expressed," said Mark Schmidt, CEO and president of Cyberlux, a North Carolina-based company.

The two companies, Sacred Power and Cyberlux, will be making lighting systems to be used for national and military security in the Middle East. These lighting systems will light up areas for troops with minimal bulk or need for batteries or generators, since they will be running on renewable energy. Even night vision spotlights are in the plan, said David Melton, Sacred Power's CEO and co-founder and a member of the Laguna Pueblo tribe.

"They liked our work and they needed this to help them in their mission," Melton, said.

1,000 times brighter than consumer light bulbs

The U.S Department of Defense needs to shed solar-powered light on the military in the Middle East, Schmidt said. Cyberlux found Sacred Power when they were working on their own solar power projects, but not very many people do solar power like Sacred Power, he said. Cyberlux and Sacred Power entered in a contract with the Department of Defense in late November, 2008.

The lights will be 1,000 times brighter than regular bulbs that you might screw into your lamp and could be used on U.S. borders and customized to detect motion.

"I'd say this is the next generation of lighting systems," Melton said.

Sacred Power has been making solar energy electricity systems since 2001 and has been lighting up rural houses on the Navajo reservation for 5 years. By installing $20,000 systems which are paid for by the tribe, Sacred Power has given electricity to about 400 homes so far, said Melton.

Big installation and a big telecom deal

The company holds the record for the largest sun panel arrangement at the Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute in Albuquerque. Sacred Power has promised a 100-kilowatt generator for the White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico and is doing work for NASA in Houston.

But the big deal for Sacred Power is the telecommunication systems it powers for the federal government, law enforcement and even early earthquake detection mechanics for the United States Geological Survey, said Armijo-Caster, co-founder of Sacred Power.

Sacred Power has had an increase of revenue of 17%-30% each year and at the end of 2008, Sacred brought in around $4,000,000.

"We're taking something that we've been utilizing on Native American land," Armijo-Caster said. "Taking that same concept, with a little bit different product to the military."




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