The Tribal Energy Program website is moving!

Content is not being updated during this brief transition.

For the latest information about funding opportunities, technical assistance, and training for tribes, please visit the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Indian Energy website.

Upper Skagit Indian Tribe - 2010 Project

Project Overview
Tribe/Awardee: Upper Skagit Indian Tribe
Location: Sedro-Woolley, WA
Project Title: Feasibility of Wind to Serve Upper Skagit’s Bow Hill Tribal Lands and Feasibility Update for Residential Renewable Energy
Type of Application: Feasibility
DOE Grant Number: DE-EE0002522
Project Amounts:
DOE: $140,000
Awardee: $0
Total: $140,000
Project Status: See project status
Project Period
of Performance:
Start: April 2010
End: June 2012


Under this project, the tribe will explore the feasibility of wind development in an effort to achieve energy self-sufficiency by reducing the tribe’s long-term operational costs and providing reasonable capital cost rate of returns and to reduce the tribe’s carbon footprint and impact on climate change.

Project Description


The Upper Skagit Indian Tribe has a long-term goal to strive for energy self-sufficiency to support economic gain, cultural protection, environmental protection, and health of the tribe. Each implementation of energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy production will not only reduce the tribe's long-term operational costs, including subsidies, and offer reasonable capital cost rate of returns, but also reduce the tribe's carbon footprint and impact on climate change. Each step toward energy self-sufficiency advances the opportunity for the tribe to improve services to the community.

Project Objectives

The Upper Skagit project goals are 1) to determine whether wind, believed to be a meaningful contributor to the overall renewable energy plan of the Upper Skagit, can be employed to serve facilities at the tribe's Bow Hill Reservation Complex and/or provide renewable energy to the local electric grid, and 2) investigate the emerging residential wind technology for the Helmick Road Reservation. The goals will be achieved through a site-specific wind assessment for the Bow Hill complex and a review of the state of the art in residential wind energy conversion technology for the tribe by a consultant team.


The site-specific wind assessment will employ one met tower and deploy sodar equipment to two other wind sites in close proximity of the tower site. The three sites will allow triangulation and data correlation from the sodar sites with the met tower site. Upon completion of the site-specific wind resource assessment, the consultant will provide a complete feasibility assessment report with recommendations to the tribe. The tribe will determine its approach for development and engage the electric utility company to arrive at power and interconnection agreements, while advancing preliminary design sufficient to support project development through final engineering, construction, and commissioning to support construction financing. Tribal staff has maintained two metrological towers since 2003 for the Helmick Road Reservation and residential base of the community that will contribute to understanding the applicability of emerging residential wind technology. Community outreach and education will occur with reported results from both investigations.

Upon completion of the site-specific wind resource assessment, a consultant will provide a complete feasibility assessment report with recommendations to the tribe. A site visit by the consultant's project manager and principal investigator identified three potential wind sites at the Bow Hill Complex. The proximity of each site does not warrant separate met assessment towers; rather, one tower coupled with the strategic deployment of a Sodar device at the other two wind sites will allow correlation of wind potential at these sites with data captured from the installed met assessment tower.

Project Location

The project is based on the Upper Skagit tribal lands. The Upper Skagit Reservation and land base is located within Skagit County, Washington. The Bow Hill complex is located approximately 15 miles north of Mount Vernon and is the center of the tribe's economic development interests. The wind feasibility assessment will be conducted at this complex.

Project Status

This 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 2011 project status report provides more information.

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

Project Contact

Lorraine Mantor
Upper Skagit Indian Tribe
25944 Community Plaza Way
Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284

Lauren Rich
Upper Skagit Indian Tribe
25944 Community Plaza Way
Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284