Chickasaw Nation - 2010 Project

Project Overview
Tribe/Awardee: Chickasaw Nation
Location: Ada, OK
Project Title: Upgrading Lighting to the Newest, Most Energy Efficient Products
Type of Application: Deployment
DOE Grant Number: DE-EE0002506
Project Amounts:
DOE: $200,000
Awardee: $100,000
Total: $300,000
Project Status: See project status
Project Period
of Performance:
Start: June 2010
End: May 2011

Summary

Under this project, the Chickasaw Nation, Division of Commerce (CNDC) will upgrade old, inefficient lighting systems throughout CNDC to new, energy saving systems. This will be the first step in a multiphase green project intended to take the Chickasaw Nation from following standard practices to leading the way in environmental stewardship.

A cumulative energy reduction of more than 30% will be achieved by upgrading lighting fixtures, ballasts and bulbs in the businesses operated by the Chickasaw Nation. These facilities include the three largest casinos operated by the Chickasaw Nation: WinStar World Casino located in Thackerville, Oklahoma; Riverwind Casino located in Goldsby, Oklahoma; and Newcastle Gaming Center located in Newcastle, Oklahoma. The potential for energy reduction and savings is greatest at these locations and was the determining factor in the Chickasaw Nation's being chosen for this project. In addition the casinos, 41 other smaller to midsized casinos and retail stores have been included in this project to obtain the greatest reduction in energy usage.

Project Description

Background

The CNDC expended almost $11 million in electricity costs alone in 2008. The potential to reduce costs and energy usage and overall carbon footprint is ready and waiting to be addressed. An energy audit was performed in 2007 for all CNDC facilities and included heating and cooling as well as lighting. It was determined that a significant cost savings per year could be gained if simple energy efficiency measures were put into place.

The major objective of this project is simple, but its implications create a ripple effect in creating a "green" tribe and broadening the minds and thoughts of community and tribal citizens. Recycling initiatives have been approved by the governor of the Chickasaw Nation, and this grant provides the means necessary to take the next step in reaching the ultimate mission of "enhancing the overall quality for life for the Chickasaw people."

Project Objectives

The primary objective of this grant is to upgrade old, inefficient lighting systems throughout CNDC to new energy saving systems, with the most complex upgrade being the change from neon to light-emitting diode (LED) and the simplest being the replacement of incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs).

Following are the overall CNDC objectives for this project:

  1. Conduct a division-wide lighting upgrade to all casinos, retail and administrative office structures based on lighting energy audits previously performed by CNDC in 2007.
  2. Reduce energy consumption in aggregate by 30% or more by implementing the lighting efficiency upgrades.
  3. Change out neon lighting at Lazer Zone Family Fun Center to new, safer LED lighting.
  4. Capture cost savings through upgrading that the tribe is currently paying out on a monthly basis.
  5. Educate community and Chickasaw Head Start attendees on energy efficiency measures and ways to get involved.

With successful completion of the objectives above, the Chickasaw Nation will be better positioned to become a greener tribe. Conservation and various environmental efforts are ongoing, but a project of this size has not been undertaken to date. This project will be a catalyst in the energy efficiency consciousness of the tribe that will spark citizens and employees alike to join the cause.

Scope

The methodology behind the project is to simply change out lighting fixtures, ballasts and bulbs to the newer, more energy efficient types. Current facility and regional maintenance crews will be scheduled to perform the change-outs, starting with the three largest facilities: Newcastle, Riverwind and Winstar. These will be done in the first phases of the project to lock in energy reductions and cost savings as soon as possible. The next phase will include the midsized casinos and retail stores. This phase is comparable to the first phase in duration and will provide an even greater reduction in costs and energy use. Last will be the administrative and support offices. Following the completion of the lighting upgrades, the education and outreach portion of the grant will resume. Head Starts and community elder luncheons will be visited to explain the program and results to help create a sense of stewardship and pride for the work done by CNDC to protect the environment.

Lighting upgrades will be performed in a complete change-out from current lighting fixtures, ballasts and bulbs to the newest, most energy efficient options available. Many tribal facilities still use the T-12 bulbs; these can be changed to the new T8 or the T5 bulbs, which will reduce energy consumption by 50% per fixture. This reduction in energy, as well as carbon emissions and energy bills, will place the Chickasaw Nation as one of the most energy efficient tribes in Oklahoma, and possibly the United States.

Project Location

The lighting system upgrade will take place in the three largest casinos operated by the Chickasaw Nation: the WinStar World Casino located in Thackerville, Oklahoma; the Riverwind Casino located in Goldsby, Oklahoma; and the Newcastle Gaming Center located in Newcastle, Oklahoma. In addition to the big three, 41 other smaller to midsized casinos and retail stores have been included in this project to obtain the greatest reduction in energy usage.

Project Status

The project is complete. For details, see the final report.

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 June 2010.

The October 2010 and November 2011 project status reports provide more information.

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

Project Contact

Maria Howeth
The Chickasaw Nation
PO Box 818
Ada, OK 74820
580-436-2603 ext 61614
maria.howeth@chickasaw.net

Kara Berst
The Chickasaw Nation
PO Box 818
Ada, OK 74820
580-272-5109
kara.berst@chickasaw.net