Lower Sioux Indian Community - 2010 Project

Project Overview
Tribe/Awardee: Lower Sioux Indian Community
Location: Redwood Falls, MN
Project Title: Lower Sioux Wind Feasibility and Development
Type of Application: Feasibility
DOE Grant Number: DE-EE0002515
Project Amounts:
DOE: $250,000
Awardee: $100,290
Total: $350,290
Project Status: Complete  More
Project Period
of Performance:
Start: April 2010
End: December 2010

Summary

Lower Sioux intends to continue its efforts to develop wind projects on its lands as a continuation of efforts begun roughly 20 years ago. This project will evaluate the feasibility of a community wind project to provide power to the community and allow for excess power to be sold back to the utility. In addition, Lower Sioux plans to evaluate the feasibility of a commercial-scale wind project on its lands and initiate predevelopment work on the project.

Project Description

Background

The Lower Sioux has been interested in pursuing wind energy for nearly 20 years. During the early 1990s, Lower Sioux sought and was awarded funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to perform preliminary wind evaluation on the reservation. That effort included extensive community support and resulted in the installation of a 20 kW demonstration wind turbine in 1999, which is still in place today. This project is the next logical step for Lower Sioux.

The Lower Sioux continued to pursue green energy activities with the development of the "Tribal Green Energy Team." The Lower Sioux Energy vision was developed through that effort and is as follows:

"The Lower Sioux Indian Community strives to contribute to solving our Nation's environmental challenges by utilizing renewable energy projects to power our Tribal Community and for economic development opportunities."

Project Objectives

Lower Sioux intends to continue its efforts to develop wind projects on its lands as a continuation of the previously described efforts begun roughly 20 years ago. This project would evaluate feasibility of a community wind project to provide power to the community, and allow for excess power to be sold back to the utility. In addition, Lower Sioux plans to evaluate the feasibility of a commercial-scale wind project on its lands and initiate predevelopment work on the project. One of the growth industries identified by the Lower Sioux Indian Community is renewable energy. In late 2008, the Lower Sioux Tribal Council sought to develop renewable energy projects within the tribal community and beyond.

Consistent with the tribe's vision, the contractor is pursuing two goals:

  • Develop a single-turbine wind energy project to serve the Lower Sioux Indian Community on the Lower Sioux Indian Reservation.
  • Develop a larger, multi-turbine wind energy project to provide power to be sold on the grid; this project would likely involve investment partners and would be a longer-term in nature and more complex.

Scope

The project will be managed by the Lower Sioux Tribal Green Energy Team (Tribal Green Energy Team). The Tribal Green Energy Team was established to encourage more participation in the process, and to allow for more informed decisions leading to successful implementation of the tribe's goals. The consultant will serve as the contractor's advisors. Construction and implementation of the project will be the responsibility of contractor, upon tribal council approval and outside the scope of this study.

The primary project focus of this feasibility study will be on identifying sites for a community-scale wind turbine and for commercial-scale wind project development. One specific location that has been considered a possible site for a community-scale wind turbine is west of the established business zone in the northwestern area of the reservation. Possible locations for a small, commercial-scale wind project are on the southern portion of the reservation. The project will be completed in four phases with associated tasks.

Phase 1: Site and Resource Evaluation
Phase 2: Environmental Review and Detailed Site Analysis
Phase 3: Project Structure and Agreements
Phase 4: Develop Request for Proposals

Project Location

The 620-member Lower Sioux Indian Community is located in southwest Minnesota. The Lower Sioux Indian Reservation lies on the southern banks of the Minnesota River, over an area of 1,743 acres in Redwood County, 2 miles south of Morton and 6 miles east of Redwood Falls. Roughly 80% of the reservation lies above the Minnesota River Valley on the adjacent bluffs.

Project Status

This project is complete. For details, see the final report (PDF 18.4 MB). Download Adobe Reader.

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 and October 2010 project status reports provide more information.

Project Contact

Darin Minkel
PO Box 69
Redwood Falls, MN 56283
507-697-6236
dakotafutures@lawersioux.com