Native Village of Port Graham - 2006 Project

Project Overview
Tribe/Awardee: Port Graham, Native Village of
Location: Port Graham, AK
Project Title: The Potential for Biomass District Energy Production in Port Graham, Alaska: "A One Year Feasibility Study to Determine the Potential Use of Biomass Energy to Provide Heat and Power for the Port Graham Cannery"
Type of Application: Feasibility
DOE Grant Number: DE-FG36-06GO16023
Project Amounts:
DOE: $141,368
Awardee: $7,584
Total: $148,952
Project Status: Complete  More
Project Period
of Performance:
Start: June 2006
End: May 2007

Summary

In Alaska, Port Graham Village, a community of 140 members primarily of Aluiig descent, will assess construction of a biomass facility to power their cannery. The reservation, located at the southern tip of the Kenai Peninsula on the lower Cook Inlet, is accessible only by boat or airplane and rich in timber supply. The goal of the project is to determine the economic and technical feasibility for implementing a biomass energy system to serve the community of Port Graham. The Council will carry out this goal by analyzing the biomass resource data, evaluating the site selection and energy load, evaluating cogeneration technology and determining engineering economics.

Project Description

The Port Graham Village, a community of 140 members primarily of Aluiig descent, will assess the viability of a biomass facility to power their cannery. The Port Graham Village Council, located on the southern tip of the Kenai Peninsula on the lower Cook Inlet and accessible only by boat or airplane and rich in timber supply. The Village has experienced a steady increase in their utility costs every year which eats more and more of the budgets for each program or business in the community. Electricity, fuel, some foods, goods and services are imported into the community. Rather than remain dependent on these services, the tribe has been investigating ways to reduce these costs and reliance on the utilities coming into the community.

For the past several years, Chugachmiut has worked with the seven tribes of the Chugach region which extends from the Prince William Sound to the lower Cook Inlet. The mission of Chugachmiut is to assist the tribes with self-determination. As a result, a Resource Analysis was developed by Chugachmiut to assist the tribes with an analysis of their local resources. The analysis indicated Port Graham had the potential for biomass heat and power. Approximately 40,000 acres of timber located on Port Graham Corporation land near the community was identified which is actively harvested with 60% export and 40% pulp and utility. The foresters also saw the potential to use low value forest residue or timber depleted by spruce beetle activity, pulp and utility wood for biomass energy and power. This resource would otherwise be left as waste material. The Port Graham Village Council views this as a resource to provide power to the facilities in their community. Therefore, the tribe has identified the Port Graham Cannery as the first facility to receive that energy.

Objective

The Port Graham Village Council (Council) will conduct a feasibility study to determine the potential for biomass energy within its tribal jurisdiction. Chugachmiut, a consortium serving the seven tribes of the Chugach region, conducted a timber inventory that identified the potential of biomass source material for heat and power in Port Graham. With the high costs of operating and maintaining facilities within the tribal jurisdiction, the tribe wants and needs to find ways to reduce its costs and dependence on outside resources. They want to identify the best potential of use of its local natural resources to provide energy and heat in the facilities in their community.

Scope

The goal of the project is to determine the economic and technical feasibility for implementing a biomass energy system to serve the community of Port Graham. The Council will carry out this goal by analyzing the biomass resource data, evaluating the site selection and energy load, evaluating cogeneration technology and determining engineering economics. A review and discussion with tribal leaders will be conducted at the end of each task. A final report with recommendations will be completed at the end of the project. The potential impact of a development project would result in one position to work with the timber resources and one to work with the biomass energy facility.

This goal will be carried out through the following tasks:

  • Analyze biomass resource data
  • Evaluate site selection and load
  • Evaluate cogeneration technology
  • Determine engineering economics

Upon completion of the feasibility study, Port Graham Village Council will have a recommendation regarding the viability of local fuel resources and the application of fuel resources to energy loads. That is, the Council will be able to determine whether use of the biomass in an energy facility will provide an economical source to heat and power the Port Graham Cannery.

Project Location

Port Graham is located on the southern tip of the Kenai Peninsula on the lower Cook Inlet. It is 30 air miles south of Homer and 200 air miles from Anchorage. It is not connected to a road system and can only be reached by boat or airplane. The community of 140 persons primarily of Aluiiq descent has a school, tribal council building, clinic, two stores, a cannery and Native corporation office.

Project Status

The project is complete. For details, see the final report (PDF 1.1 MB) and the report appendices (PDF 9.5 MB). Download Adobe Reader.

The project was competitively selected under the Tribal Energy Program's FY 2005 solicitation, "Renewable Energy Development on Tribal Lands," and started June 2006. The October 2006 (PDF 13.9 MB) and November 2007 (PDF 2.5MB) presentations provide more information. Download Adobe Reader.

For other information, contact one of the project contacts.

Project Contact

Francis Norman, Tribal Administrator
Port Graham Village Council
P.O. Box 5510
Port Graham, AK 99603-5510
Telephone: (907) 284-2227
Facsimile: (907) 284-2222
Email: francis907@hotmail.com

Charles Sink, Project Co-Director
Chugachmit Forestry and FireWise Program
1840 S. Brogaw Street, Suite 10
Anchorage, AK 99508
Telephone: (907) 562-4155
Email: charlie@chugachmiut.org