Campo Band of Mission Indians - 2010 Project

Project Overview
Tribe/Awardee: Campo Band of Mission Indians
Location: Campo, CA
Project Title: Kumeyaay Wind II Project
Type of Application: Development
DOE Grant Number: DE-EE0002496
Project Amounts:
DOE: $1,255,574
Awardee: $4,234,750
Total: $5,490,324
Project Status: See project status
Project Period
of Performance:
Start: July 2010
End: January 2013

Summary

The Campo Band of Mission Indians ("Band") goal is to develop a 300 MW wind energy project ("Kumeyaay Wind II") in two phases over the next two to five years. Under this DOE-funded project, the Band will conduct pre-construction activities in connection with the development of Phase 1, a 160 MW wind energy project. The Band has secured transmission for the Project so that it can be placed into commercial operation immediately.

To achieve Phase I – 160 MW, the Band and its key participants will complete certain pre-construction objectives: completing all environmental permits, engineering and design drawings, and transactional documents; securing financial commitments; applying for a tribal resource energy agreement; and establishing cooperative agreements with state and local governments, a business plan, an operations and maintenance plan, an employment recruitment and training plan, and amendments to the Band's Land Use Plan and Master Plan. Data collected from six solar powered met towers will be used to refine existing tribe and California Energy Commission wind energy maps and drive the engineering design efficiency and performance of the wind turbines.

Project Description

Background

The Band is governed pursuant to the Campo Constitution passed by the General Council on July 13, 1975. The Constitution empowers the General Council of the Band (all adult members 18 and older) with lawmaking authority. An Executive Committee of seven members (four officers and three committee members) is elected to four-year terms and responsible for executing policy and resolutions passed by the General Council. The General Council also established Muht-Hei, Inc. (MHI) as a tribally chartered corporation for the purpose of planning, managing and operating tribal enterprises authorized by the General Council. The MHI Board of Directors is appointed by the Executive Committee (EC) with the advice and consent of the General Council.

The Band recognizes the critical importance of capable institutions of tribal governance as essential to building a strong economy and community. The Band leadership is working hard to establish these institutions as well as governance infrastructure so that self-government works for them in accordance with the Band's standards and structures of political legitimacy. For the predevelopment activities proposed for Phase I – 160 MW, MHI and the EC will co-manage accomplishment of the objectives, together with Band staff directors, outside legal counsel and a financial consultant. MHI and the EC have delegated authority (by Resolution No. 2009-03-22-01) from the General Council to complete the proposed pre-development objectives.

Since 2003, the Band has steadily worked to develop its wind resources for conversion to electricity and export into the transmission grid to create a stable source of revenue for the Band. In 2004, the Band successfully consummated a lease for development and operation of a 50 MW wind power project ("Wind I"). At the time, Wind I was the largest commercial-scale wind farm in Indian Country. However, the business structure is a passive lease arrangement that has led to dissatisfaction with the project benefits due to little ownership or opportunity for in-depth education about the power industry.

In 2007, the Band leadership convened meetings with the General Council to discuss the expansion of Wind I in the context of a larger, more comprehensive plan for the reservation that blends development of the wind resources and other community goals. The Band's long-term energy vision is to maximize the development of its wind resources in a manner that sustains and enhances the community environmentally, culturally, socially and economically. A recent feasibility study concludes that the wind resources on the reservation have development potential up to 300 MW.

Project Objectives

The Band defines this proposed project as "pre-construction activities related to development of the Kumeyaay Wind II, Phase I-160MW Project." The pre-construction objectives can be divided into two sets:

  1. Objectives to be completed by the Participants under the MOU for which the Band must pay a pro-rata share up to three months prior to construction, and
  2. Objectives to be completed by the Band supportive of its ownership interest and activities that increase control over development and position the Band for future expansion.

Scope

The pre-construction objectives for this project include necessary environmental studies, permitting and clearances; testing of wind speed and direction for turbine size and efficiency; engineering and design drawings for site layout; transactional documents between the Participants (power purchase, interconnection and build-own transfer agreements); California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) approvals; financing agreements; a Tribal Energy Resource Agreement (TERA) for environmental and leasing authority; cooperative agreements with state and local governments; land use and master plan amendments, business, job-training and operational and maintenance planning.

The MOU with Participants provides that the Band, through its corporation (MHI), has a right to acquire a portion of the 160 MW project. To exercise this right, the Band will have to pay its prorated share of the total pre-development costs for the 160 MW project. For purposes of this agreement, this pro-rata share includes the estimated costs of pre-construction based on the global pre-development costs.

The project objectives, once complete, are designed to position the project for construction. These project objectives include securing or obtaining approval for environmental permits required for construction; engineering and design drawings for construction; power purchase and interconnection agreements for operation; land and wind leases for project siting; intergovernmental cooperative agreements; tribal resource energy agreements; financing agreements; business organizational, training and operations and maintenance plans; and amendments to the Campo Land Use Plan and Master Plan for the Reservation.

The Phase I - 160 MW project is a direct result of the Band's experience and connection to the wind resources on the reservation. The Band's proposed use and integration of this resource for the benefit of the community complements its cultural and social framework. Finally, Kumeyaay Wind II was conceived in the traditional, consensus building way. The Band held a series of meetings guided by social values that resulted in making this project a priority of the Band.

Project Location

The locationof Phase I – 160 MW will be solely on the Campo Reservation, a federal trust property comprising an area of 24.3 square miles. The Reservation is located in southeastern San Diego County about 70 miles east of San Diego, California. The Reservation straddles the Tecate Divide, forming high elevation ridges, which separate the desert watersheds from the Pacific Ocean drainages.

Project Status

The project was competitively selected under the Tribal Energy Program's fiscal year 2009 funding opportunity announcement, "Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Deployment in Indian Country," and started in July 2010.

The November 2009, October 2010, November 2011, November 2012, and March 2014 project status reports provide more information.

For current project status or additional information, please contact the project contacts.

Project Contact

Monique LaChappa
Campo Band of Mission Indians
36190 Church Rd., Suite 1
Campo, CA 91906
619-478-9046
mlachappa@campo-nsn.gov