Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma - 2010 Project

Project Overview
Tribe/Awardee: Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma
Location: Perkins, OK
Project Title: Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma Assessment of Wind Resources on Tribal Land
Type of Application: Feasibility
DOE Grant Number: DE-EE0002512
Project Amounts:
DOE: $242,586
Awardee: $15,751
Total: $258,337
Project Status: See project status
Project Period
of Performance:
Start: April 2010
End: December 2011


The overall objective of the Assessment of Wind Resource on Tribal Land project is to conduct a wind resource assessment in order to quantify the wind resource potential available on the Iowa Tribe's land. A successful wind resource assessment for the Iowa Tribe will provide the data needed to implement a viable and effective commercial wind energy project, which will allow the tribe to be energy independent and offer an additional revenue stream.

Project Description


The Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma is a federally recognized Indian tribe eligible for the special programs and services provided by the United States to Indian tribes. In 1883, an Iowa reservation was created in Indian Territory (Oklahoma) in parts of what is now Lincoln, Logan, Oklahoma, and Payne Counties, and encompasses an area of approximately 1,250 square miles. Of the 37 tribes located in Oklahoma, the Iowa Tribe is one of the smallest, with an enrollment membership of 595 (April 2009). The tribe was organized under a tribal constitution drafted pursuant to the Thomas-Rogers Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act in 1936. The tribal constitution empowers a five-member elected business committee with the authority to act on behalf of the tribe, including the right to engage in any business that will further the economic and social development of the tribe.

Since 2001, the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma has pursued a goal of energy independence by developing the means to generate energy on tribal land from clean, self-sustainable sources.

Significant project milestones to date include the following:

  • During 2001–2002, the Iowa Tribe participated in a wind-monitoring program, the Native American Anemometer Loan Program, which was administered by the U.S. Department of Energy - National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
  • From 2004–2007, the Iowa Tribe developed, and adopted by formal resolution, a comprehensive Integrated Resource Management Plan (IRMP) to provide management direction for the use and/or protection of natural and cultural resources within Iowa Indian County. Goals and objectives for the development of wind energy are addressed in the IRMP.
  • During 2008, the Iowa Tribe hired staff to oversee the wind energy project.
  • From August 2008 through 2009, an extensive, but ultimately successful search for a highly qualified technical consultant was conducted.
  • From August 2008 through 2009, detailed project objectives, action steps, and preliminary budgets were developed to achieve the long-term goal of a commercially viable wind energy farm to offset the tribe's electrical loads and sell the excess power back into the grid to provide the much-needed renewable energy source to local utilities and neighboring communities.

Project Objectives

The overall objective of the Assessment of Wind Resource on Tribal Land project is to conduct a wind resource assessment in order to quantify the wind resource potential available on the Iowa Tribe's land. This information will be used to develop a commercial-scale wind farm or distributed generation application, which will allow the tribe to be energy independent and offer an additional revenue stream.


Project activities will commence with initial tribal educational meetings and initial research. Next, background geothermal resource data will be compiled and analyzed, and a plan for field work will be developed. Preliminary socioeconomic and technical analyses will also commence. Final analysis of field research will be compiled. This research information will then be fed into the final designs for the economic analysis, as well as the final business plan and systems design scenarios. Tribal energy issues, including power purchase agreements and potential project financing mechanisms, will be assessed and will also feed into the final business plan design. An educational meeting with be held with the tribal council and tribal members to discuss the conclusions and recommendations of the analysis.

Specific objectives include:

Objective 1: Identify and address technical issues concerning wind energy development.

  • Identify issues related to land access and sitting of wind turbines, including installation of assessment equipment, permits, and other considerations specific to tribal lands.
  • Identify electrical interconnection and transmission requirements, constraints, and opportunities.
  • Identify issues related to generation of electricity with intermittent wind resources and integration into the electricity supply system.
  • Address plans for overcoming wind resource barriers.

Objective 2: Conduct an in-depth feasibility study of wind energy to evaluate the actual value of wind turbine–generated energy for the Iowa Tribe and community.

  • Install an 80-meter tower in order to further evaluate the wind resources at a height equivalent to a wind generator that is suitable for the tribe's power needs.
  • Perform a preliminary economic (cost) assessment for wind turbines that would be sited on tribal lands based on wind data and wind turbine performance data.
  • Examine and collect information for a hybrid wind turbine/diesel backup system to supply electricity to the Tribal Complex and community. A hybrid wind turbine/diesel backup system could be engineered to supply the majority of the electrical needs of the Iowa Tribal Complex using the available wind resources.

Objective 3: Identify and address environmental issues concerning wind energy development, and educate stakeholders about the challenges of implementation.

  • Identify and address issues related to noise, visibility, and avian issues.
  • Conduct an environmental assessment in preparation for a wind turbine.
    • Establish methods for assessing potential environmental impacts.
    • Identify cultural resources and natural resources impacted by wind turbine development.
  • Develop recommendations concerning how noise, visibility, and avian considerations should be addressed and incorporated into any potential wind energy development in Iowa Indian Country.
  • Increase awareness of wind power technologies and their costs, benefits, and challenges.
  • Conduct studies of the wind resources in the tribal jurisdictional boundary.

Project Location

The Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma is headquartered in Perkins, Oklahoma, and its tribal jurisdictional area is in Lincoln, Logan, Oklahoma, and Payne counties.

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, "Assessing the Feasibility of Renewable Energy Development and Energy Efficiency Deployment on Tribal Lands," and started in April 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

Daryl Sweeten
RR1, Box 721
Perkins, OK 74509

Robert Waters
RR1, Box 721
Perkins , OK 74509