This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

May 15, 2002

Rosebud Sioux to Build First Tribal Utility-Scale Turbine

The Rosebud Sioux Tribal Council announced on May 7th that it will build the first Native American-owned utility-scale turbine on its tribal lands in South Dakota. The Rosebud Sioux Tribe Wind Farm will initially consist of one 750-kilowatt NEG Micon turbine, which will produce enough energy over the course of one year to power 200 homes. The construction is made possible through a new agreement with NativeEnergy, which will sell green tags for the project through its WindBuilders program. See the NativeEnergy press release.

Meanwhile, a much larger wind project on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Montana has fallen through. DOE's Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) was considering buying the entire output of a 66-megawatt wind plant that was proposed by SeaWest WindPower, Inc. But BPA recently halted work on its Environmental Impact Statement for the project, citing high energy costs. BPA will continue its avian studies at the site for potential use by the tribe or the wind developer. See the BPA Environment, Fish, and Wildlife Web site.

Although the halt of the Blackfeet project is disappointing, tribal lands hold countless opportunities for renewable energy development, and DOE is working to encourage such development. DOE's Tribal Energy Program provides financial and technical assistance to tribes for feasibility studies and shares the cost of implementing sustainable renewable energy installations on tribal lands. This program promotes tribal energy self-sufficiency and fosters employment and economic development on America's tribal lands. See the program's new Web site.