RFP Calls for 2 MW Solar Hybrid Power Project

The native-American Hualapai Tribe, located predominantly along the western edge of the Grand Canyon in Northern Arizona, has put out a call for proposals for a large, 250 kW solar hybrid project to provide power to the remote region.

The tribe operates a 9000-acre tourism enterprise in the northwest corner of the Hualapai Reservation called Grand Canyon West (GCW). Because of its remote and pristine setting, GCW is not connected to the national grid system and operates diesel generators to provide power to the airport and other facilities. The absence of utility infrastructure at GCW has prevented the development of overnight accommodations and commercial facilities. The Hualapai Tribe has received a grant from the USDA Rural Utilities Service to build electric generation and distribution infrastructure at GCW. The project will install approximately five miles of underground electric distribution network and establish a solar hybrid power system capable of providing reliable utility quality power to GCW loads. The Hualapai people consider themselves the stewards of the Grand Canyon and desire to develop culturally and ecologically appropriate tourism venues and utility infrastructure at Grand Canyon West. Grand Canyon West currently receives approximately 150,000 visitors annually. Once utility infrastructure is established, GCW visitorship is expected to exceed one million visitors annually. The solar hybrid power system will be established initially at a capacity of 250 kW AC. The power system capacity will grow to meet new load as needed. The capacity of the system at build-out is expected be approximately 2 MW. Overnight and cloudy day loads will be met using advanced and innovative technology to be provided by developers seeking to showcase their new technologies. A very high priority has been set on eliminating the diesel generators and their attendant noise and pollution from the system. This priority creates an opportunity for demonstration of advanced solar thermal, hydrogen genset, and fuel cell technology. The use of batteries to provide for off-sun hours of operation is not desirable due to their high cost of replacement and poor reliability. This project is funded by the Hualapai Tribe and a FY 2004 USDA Rural Utilities Service Grant. Approximately $2,000,000 is budgeted for design, construction, commissioning, documentation, training, and contingencies. The Hualapai Tribe is also working on a strategy for development of a tribal utility that will be responsible for providing service to GCW loads, operations and maintenance of the power generation and distribution systems, as well as necessary financial and customer service functions. The RFP officially seeks partners to design, finance, and build the renewable energy based utility-scale power system to meet the future needs of GCW. This RFP is a request for proposals that offers the best in advanced renewable energy technology as well as creative partnerships in financing and ownership of the power systems. “The Grand Canyon West Power Project is an opportunity for technology and systems developers to showcase their capabilities in a setting of unparalleled cultural and ecological significance and world-wide exposure,” said a statement from the Tribe. The Hualapai Tribe will receive proposals at the Hualapai Tribe Office of Planning and Economic Development, located in the Hualapai Administrative Complex, 941 Hualapai Way, Peach Springs, Arizona 86434, until 4 o’clock Tuesday afternoon, October 11, 2005 to design and construct a solar hybrid power system and underground power distribution system for the Hualapai Grand Canyon West Tourism District. For the full RFP and for further information, contact Mark Randall, Daystar Consulting at mrandall@daystar-consulting.com.


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