Between 2010 and 2013, Chaninik Wind Group (CWG) implemented a multi-village wind heat smart grid in the Alaska Native villages of Kongiganak, Kwigillingok, and Tuntutuliak, integrating heating systems and a grid installed with partial funding through the DOE Tribal Energy Program with the five existing 95-kW wind turbines CWG had installed in each community. Each system produces wind capacity in excess of 200% of the peak load and uses an on-site wind-diesel smart grid control system to maximize efficiency.
As members of the State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, Chairwoman Karen Diver, Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa (MN), and Mayor Reggie Joule, Northwest Arctic Borough (AK), are tasked with providing President Obama with recommendations on measures that will help tribal communities better prepare for and deal with the effects of climate change.
As a student at New Mexico State University majoring in electrical engineering technology with a minor in renewable energy technology, I want to help my community by incorporating renewable energy technology so power will be distributed to every home, business, or school at an affordable cost to both my community and the electrical company. Visiting the NREL facility not only heightened my desire to become an engineer but also to see my goals come to fruition.
As a senior studying environmental science at the University of New Mexico and a member of the Zuni Pueblo, I have always believed that it is important for our Tribe to develop and protect our resources. There has always been a desire in my future goals to help my community with its resources, particularly to protect our lands and water. Our Tribe is unique in its language, customs, and traditions, and the environment we occupy is precious and complex. My reason for wanting to visit NREL ties into this desire to be involved in sustainable research, not only with energy but in other avenues as well.
As an electrical engineering consultant working for my Tribe of Zuni Pueblo, I had the opportunity to arrange a trip to the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) for two undergraduate students in the latter part of October. The trip gave all of us a glimpse of the potential for Zuni Pueblo in building a technical pipeline for our people.
The 2013 White House Tribal Nations Conference, held Wednesday, November 13 at the Department of the Interior, was a turning point in the federal-tribal partnership to combat climate change and strengthen community resilience.
The SUN Project is a new collaboration between the U.S. Department of Energy and the American Indian Science and Engineering Society to engage urban Native American youth in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.
The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Indian Energy hosted a second tribal renewable energy project development and finance Workshop September 18-20 at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado, this time focusing on community- and facility-scale development. Forty-two participants, including representatives from 26 Tribes as well as several federal agencies, took part in this most recent training opportunity to learn about the potential of and how to develop and finance these unique and smaller scale projects that can serve to reduce costs, increase reliability, and support tribal goals for energy self-sufficiency.
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians had plenty of used vegetable oil and grease on hand and a desire to convert the waste to biofuel to reduce the environmental impact of their energy use. The Tribes participated in a demonstration project with the intent to share their experience and lessons learned so that other Tribes would be able to replicate the results on their own lands.
Change doesn’t happen on its own. It’s led by dedicated and passionate people who are committed to empowering Indian Country to energize future generations. Leading the Charge is a regular Office of Indian Energy newsletter feature spotlighting the movers and shakers in energy development on tribal lands. In this issue, we talk to Christine Klein, an adopted Haida who is leading efforts to help Alaska Native villages address their energy challenges in her role as Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Calista Corporation.