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Identifying Project Potential and Options. April 23, 2014. Todd Hooks Economic Development Director Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. Mark Dansby Economic Development Project Manager Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians.

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Identifying Project Potential

and Options

April 23, 2014


Todd Hooks

Economic Development


Agua Caliente Band of

Cahuilla Indians

Mark Dansby

Economic Development

Project Manager

Agua Caliente Band of

Cahuilla Indians


Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians

  • Tribal ancestors resided in the area surrounding the San Jacinto Mountains in the Southern California region for centuries.
  • The Agua Caliente Reservation (approximately 32,000 acres) was deeded in trust by Federal Order in 1876 to the Agua Caliente Tribe.
  • The Tribe was deeded the even numbered sections as the odd numbered sections were deeded to Southern Pacific Railroad in 1860; Creating a checkerboard reservation configuration.
  • Portions of the cities of Palm Springs, Cathedral City and Rancho Mirage lie within the Agua Caliente Indian Reservation.

Agua Caliente Indian Reservation



Indian Canyons







  • Tribal Reservation – Checkerboard Configuration
  • Best Use/Tribal Considerations
  • Environmental Planning– Mitigation Factors
  • Tribal Load Centers
  • Transmission/Interconnection

Tribal Land Status

  • A mixture of land holdings
    • Tribal Trust
    • Allotted
    • Allotted and Leased
    • Fee Simple
  • A unique situation which sometime creates a difficult environment for development.

Best Use

Project Site Consideration

  • Resource (wind discussion history)
  • Sacred Areas (Trading Post Solar)
  • Land Value
  • Future Considerations

Environmental - Mitigation

  • Tribal Habitat Conservation Plan (THCP)
    • Emphasis on Resource Management
    • Expanding Coachella Valley population (currently 450,000 and expected to be 600,000 by 2020) and further development .
    • Land and Natural Resources on the Reservation.
      • Water Quality
      • Sensitive Species
      • Cultural Resources
      • Trails
    • The Tribe is the ultimate authority on land use matters and conservation measures within the Reservation.
    • Balance between development and self-sufficiency is critical factor.

Tribal Load Centers

  • Three major load centers on the reservation
    • Load centers approximately 2-5 miles apart
    • Land area near load centers extremely valuable for future real estate development.
    • Question of “best use” land policies
    • Exploring Distributed Generation options for these sites


  • The Tribe maintains one site, Whitewater Ranch, a 270 acre property at the western gateway to the Coachella valley with excellent resources for wind and solar but transmission and interconnection are major concerns.
  • A Met tower has been installed at Whitewater Ranch as part of a DOE Solar/Wind Feasibility Study. We are scheduled to complete the study in September, 2014.
  • Interconnection/Transmission options are being assessed in the nearby vicinity, also as part of the DOE study.
  • Total proposed output for the site is 10MW (6MW wind and 4MW solar)


  • The RE resource is key, but several other factors must be considered when analyzing project potential.
    • Real Estate Potential
    • Tribal Council Considerations
    • Load Centers
    • Environmental/Site