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Opportunities for Renewable Energy Technologies in Indian Country. Faline Haven Office of Tribal Relations US Forest Service. Sustainable Summit November 20, 2008. Tribal Energy Resource Development can Support Local Economies and Communities.

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Opportunities for Renewable Energy Technologies in Indian Country

Faline Haven

Office of Tribal Relations

US Forest Service

Sustainable Summit

November 20, 2008

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Tribal Energy Resource Development can Support Local Economies and Communities

  • Indian land comprises 5% of the land area of the United States, but contains an estimated 10% of all energy resources in the United States

  • Tribal Trust Lands Comprises 55.7 Million Acres

  • Approximately 2,100 miles of Forest Service and Tribal shared boundaries

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Renewable Resource Options Economies and Communities






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Renewable Technology Options Economies and Communities

Small Modular Power

Small Wind



Diesel Hybrids

Direct Use

Direct Use

Big Wind

Direct Use

Direct Use

Small Hydro





Remote Homes

Remote Homes

Stock Watering

Stock Watering

Process Heat


Process Heat


Venetie Village

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CO2 Reductions from Energy Economies and CommunitiesEfficiency and Renewable Energy

  • Renewables Only Scenario

  • Carbon reductions as of 2030

  • to reach 70% reduction by 2050

  • Million Metric Tons/Year:

  • Energy Efficiency 688

  • Wind 181

  • Geothermal 83

  • Biomass 75

  • Concentrating Solar Power 63

  • Photovoltaic 63

  • Biofuels 58

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Wind Project Benefits Economies and Communities

Turbine Installed on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation, SD

  • “Wind resources in the Great Plains could meet 75% of the electricity demand in the contiguous 48 states.” (Native American Energy Development and Self-Determination Act of 2003)

  • Reliable energy for Tribal use

  • Creation of tribal jobs

  • Inexhaustible supply

  • Wind is "inflation-proof"

  • Compatible with multiple land use

Wind Turbine (67 kW) Installed at Fort Berthold, NDSeptember 2005

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Solar Project Benefits Economies and Communities

Phase II 880 Watt Hybrid

240-260 Watt

Phase I 880 Watt Hybrid

640 Watt



Units assembled on Navajo Nation

Standardization achieved

Business potential


Battery bank powered

by hybrid design

  • Solar Electric Potential on Tribal Lands is 4.5 times the Total U.S. Electric Generation in 2004

  • Creation of Tribal economic development opportunities

  • Reduced use of propane and natural gas

  • Reduced energy bills

  • Reduction of air pollution

  • Near zero-CO2 carbon emissions

  • Offsetting greenhouse gases

  • Reducing the need for dry-cell battery disposal

  • Electrification for Non-grid tied homes.

Yurok Tribal Energy Program, CA - Provides community

training on installation and maintenance.

Navajo Nation Solar Electrification Project

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Hydropower Project Benefits Economies and Communities

  • Elimination of the cost of fuel

  • Avoided Greenhouse gas emissions

  • The cost of operation is nearly immune to increases in the cost of fossil fuel

  • Hydroelectric plants tend to have longer economic lives than fuel-fired generation

  • Operating labor cost is usually low

Flathead Indian Reservation Hydropower Facility

Run of River Power Inc

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Geothermal Project Benefits Economies and Communities

  • Both supply and demand-side applications

  • Job creation

  • Virtually inexhaustible with good management practices

  • Steady base-load power

  • Relatively low cost (~4 – 8 cents/kWh

  • Suitable for residential, commercial or industrial

  • Environmentally beneficial with no combustion

  • Multiple ways to install, with suitability for almost all geographic locations

  • Proven technology

Citizen Potawatomi Nation, OK

Geothermal Ponds

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Biomass Project Benefits Economies and Communities

  • Revenue

    • Electricity

    • Renewable Energy Credits (REC)

  • Jobs (5 jobs per MW)

    • In woods (harvest, chipping, trucking)

    • Power plant

  • Forest Health:

    • Hazard fuels reduction

    • Reduced slash treatment costs

    • Reduced threat of a catastrophic fire

  • Other

    • Offset costs of heating Tribal facilities

    • Potential to develop greenhouse and aquaculture facilities

    • Keeps energy dollars within the Community

    • Reduced emissions when compared to prescribed burns or wildfires

    • Reduce SOx and fossil CO2 emissions

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Colville Biomass - Goals Economies and Communities

  • Assess woody biomass availability, sustainability and economics.

  • Evaluate current biomass use in cogeneration plant.

  • Develop baseline soil test plots.

  • Compile Tribal buildings energy use and cost data.

  • Analyze Colville Indian Power & Veneer (CIPV) cogeneration plant performance & cost savings.

  • Assess marketing options for biomass power to improve CIPV profitability.

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Forest Biomass Availability Economies and Communities

  • ~ 78 million board feet timber harvested/year.

  • Biomass generation 62,400 to 93,600 green tons (GT).

  • Assuming 75% availability, 46,800 to 70,200 GT available each year

Colville Biomass Unit

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Title V of EPAct 2005, Indian Provisions Economies and Communities

  • Authorizes the creation of an “Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs” within the Department of Energy

  • Department of Energy Program

    • DOE Indian Energy Education Planning and Management Assistance Program (Authorization for $20 Million for each fiscal year 2006-2016

    • DOE Loan Guarantee Program (Aggregate amount guaranteed not to exceed $2 Billion)

  • Department of Interior Program

    • Indian Tribal Energy Resource Development Program (Authorized such sums as are necessary in fiscal years 2006 through 2016)

    • Indian Tribal Energy Resource Regulation (Grants for energy inventories and feasibility studies

No Funds Appropriated for EPAct 2005

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Energy Policy Act 2005 Economies and Communities

Farm Bill - USDA

Rural Development

Forest Service

DOE Tribal Energy Program

DOI Office of Indian Energy & Economic Development

Funding Opportunities

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Partnerships Economies and Communities

  • Technical Assistance

  • Training and Education

  • Financial Opportunities

Fond du Lac Reservation, MN

Fire Wise Project

Sitka Tribe of Alaska and the Sitka Ranger District

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QUESTIONS Economies and Communities“Tribes Leading the Way to Renewable Energy”American Indian ReportJune 2002