Bioenergy, Project Development, Wind Power

Native American Tribes to Develop RE

The U.S. Department of Energy is making US$1.3 million available to eight Native American tribes to advance the development of Renewable Energy technologies on tribal lands.

Golden, Colorado – April 25, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] “The Department of Energy (DOE) is committed to helping Native American tribes develop clean, affordable and reliable energy options,” Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham said. “These projects encourage tribal self-sufficiency, help create jobs, improve our environmental quality and make our nation more secure.” Among those receiving awards is the Duck Valley Indian Reservation, home to bands of the Shoshone and Paiute Tribes. The reservation straddles the Nevada-Idaho border and is one of the most remote and thinly populated areas of the lower 48 states. At 453 square miles, the reservation is home to 1,100 people. The reservation’s power supply is nearing capacity limit and has become chronically susceptible to outages. Multi-day system outages are not uncommon. These factors impact the tribes’ plans to promote economic development on the reservation, where the unemployment rate is around 40 percent. Ranging from the Owyhee River Valley to high desert country and mountains, the land on the reservation is quite diverse. Its high desert climate makes it a favorable location for solar radiation (90 percent plus days of sunshine in the summer, 70 percent plus days of sunshine in the winter). Several areas on the reservation also have high average annual wind speeds. The tribe will explore using distributed Renewable Energy technologies to bring reliable electric power to more of the reservation. Other projects to receive DOE funding include: – Tulalip Tribes of Snohomish County, Washington: A feasibility study to develop one or more biogas generation facilities to convert manure and other biomass resources into electricity. The biogas generation facility will help supply heat to tribal nursery and greenhouse operations and improve water quality in Snohomish Watershed streams and rivers. Generation Proposed Funding: US$378,794 Cost Share: US$129,818 – Taos Pueblo, Taos County, New Mexico: A site-wide examination of the reservation to determine the best location for development of Renewable Energy technologies that respect the cultural beliefs of the tribe. Proposed Funding: US$195,768 Cost Share: US$0 – Viejas Tribal Government, Alpine, California: A feasibility study on the development of Renewable Energy technologies to ensure long-term electric price stability and increase investment opportunities. The tribe will search for available Renewable Energy options to use as the primary source for power generation. Funding: US$130,578 Cost Share: US$31,078 – Shoshone-Paiute Tribes of the Duck Valley Reservation, Owyhee, Nevada: A feasibility study is to address the reliability and deliverability of the electric distribution system on the Duck Valley Reservation. Proposed Funding: US$175,000 Cost Share: US$25,000 – St. Croix Tribal Government, Northwestern Wisconsin: The St. Croix Tribe’s interest in sustainable economic development has led them to explore using locally available biofuel for power generation. A biofuel power project will leverage community assets and resources and provide a foundation for future sustainable development. US$251,225 Cost Share: US$0 – Cherokee Nation, Northeastern Oklahoma: A feasibility study to determine the future possibilities of a wind farm on the tribe’s property in Kay County, Oklahoma This land consists of two tracts of fee and trust land totaling approximately 4,275 acres and is presently leased for grazing. Proposed Funding: US$133,493 Cost Share: US$3,468 – Bristol Bay Native Corporation, Southeast Alaska: The goal of the feasibility study is to comprehensively assess the Renewable Energy potential for the Bristol Bay region of southwest Alaska. The region is comprised of 30 villages ranging from ten or fewer people to two large commercial centers, Dillingham and King Salmon/Naknek/South Naknek. Funding: US$103,492 Cost Share: US$0 – The Lower Brule Sioux Tribal Government, Lower Brule, South Dakota: A feasibility study to develop wind power generation combined with a hydroelectric system. US$150,000 Cost Share: US$0