Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan, Inc. - 2011 Project

Project Overview
Tribe/Awardee: Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan, Inc.
Location: Sault Ste. Marie, MI
Project Title: Energy Efficiency Feasibility Study and Resulting Plan for the Bay Mills Indian Community
Type of Application: Feasibility
DOE Grant Number: DE-EE0005173
Project Amounts:
DOE: $141,548
Awardee: $0
Total: $141,548
Project Status: See project status
Project Period
of Performance:
Start: September 2011
End: December 2013

Summary

The proposed project is to study select Bay Mills Indian Community community/government buildings to determine what is required to reduce energy consumption 30% at these buildings. The Bay Mills Indian Community (BMIC) buildings with the largest expected energy use are the Bay Mills Ellen Marshall Health Center building, Bay Mills Indian Community Administration Building, Bay Mills Community College, Bay Mills Charter School and the Waishkey Center building. These five sites comprise the study area of this proposed project and would be expected to have the greatest impact on energy reduction of public community buildings.

Project Description

Background

The Inter-Tribal Council (ITC) of Michigan, a nonprofit consortium of the federally recognized tribes of Michigan, is the Tribal Energy Resource Development Organization responsible for the proposed Energy Efficiency Development and Deployment in Indian Country project at the Bay Mills Indian Community. The ITC has an Environmental Services Division that is experienced in numerous areas of environmental protection, including energy audits, thermography, building tightness testing (blower door testing), building envelope evaluation, energy saving devices, and renewable energy. The ITC Environmental Services Manager and Environmental Specialist have a combined work experience with tribes and the Bay Mills Indian Community of over 25 years. In addition to work experience, ITC staff has applicable experience through certification in thermography and energy audits.

Project Objectives

The goal of this project and of the tribe is to reduce the energy consumption at the community's most energy-intensive buildings that will, in turn, reduce emissions at the source of energy production, reduce energy expenditures, create long-lasting energy-conscious practices, and positively affect the quality of the natural environment. Developing a long-term tribal energy vision is a process that starts with determining what energy use can be eliminated or reduced through conservation and practices and then transitions to building improvement/modification. When conservation measures have satisfactorily reduced energy use, the efforts will focus on using renewable sources of energy instead of the current nonrenewable electricity supplied mainly by coal-burning power plants and natural gas.

The proposed project's objectives focus on conducting a feasibility study and developing a plan to reduce energy consumption at Bay Mills Indian Community's most energy use intensive buildings by 30%.  The project's focus will be on BMIC's five most intensive energy consuming sites, including the Ellen Marshall Health Center, Tribal Administration, Bay Mills Community College (multiple buildings), Waishkey Center and Charter School buildings.

Within these two main objectives are many underlying objectives to achieve the 30% energy reduction:

  • Emphasize education relating to conservation, new technologies, high-efficiency hardware and building practices, renewable energy, environmental impacts of existing energy sources, and potential for reinvestment into community-owned systems versus paying others
  • Supply BMIC with a road map for reducing energy consumption 30%
  • Provide BMIC with the information to reduce energy bill expenditures
  • Provide BMIC with the information to effectively reduce their share of emissions at coal-fired electricity plants
  • Provide BMIC with the information to reduce dependency on nonrenewable energy
  • Help provide BMIC with the basis to begin incorporating renewable energy and hardware within the community
  • Provide another avenue for BMIC to connect with their cultural value of respect for the earth and living inhabitants
  • Provide construction-related employees with skills relating to new energy efficiency practices that can be marketable

Developing a long-term tribal energy vision is a process that begins with determining what energy use can be eliminated or reduced through conservation and practices and then transitions to building improvement/modification. When conservation measures have satisfactorily reduced energy use, the efforts will focus on using renewable sources of energy instead of the current nonrenewable electricity supplied largely by coal-burning power plants and natural gas.

Project Scope

The project will be implemented by presenting a sustainable and economically feasible strategy to save money and improve environmental conditions. In a northern climate with very high exposure to high winds directly off of Lake Superior coupled with cold temperatures, the 30% reduction of energy use would lead to significant savings. This proposed project will identify the strengths and weaknesses of BMIC's buildings and provide decision makers with the amount of money needed to realize energy savings. Knowing the amount of money needed to make improvements, along with the financing options presented in this project's plan, decision makers can objectively see the benefits of implementing energy reduction measures.

The feasibility study will include the following:

  • Conducting energy audits for each building
  • Documenting current/historical electricity and natural gas use
  • Conducting interviews with building manager/maintenance staff for known deficiencies and any existing energy reduction strategies
  • Assessing economics
    • Identifying items that can repaired, upgraded, or replaced to increase efficiency and reduce energy consumption
    • Sorting items from highest energy reduction and lowest cost to lowest energy reduction and highest cost
    • Determining the potential savings of higher efficiency alternatives
  • Generating material lists based on the items identified in the previous step
  • Compiling and assessing options for financing implementation of improvements.

Project Location

The ITC of Michigan, a nonprofit consortium of the federally recognized tribes of Michigan, is the Tribal Energy Resource Development Organization responsible for the proposed Energy Efficiency Development and Deployment in Indian Country project at the Bay Mills Indian Community. The project will assess five buildings: 1) Bay Mills Ellen Marshall Health Center building 2) Bay Mills Indian Community Administration Building 3) Bay Mills Community College 4) Bay Mills Charter School and 5) the Waishkey Center building, each located in Brimley, Michigan.

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 2011 funding opportunity announcement "Energy Efficiency Development and Deployment in Indian Country" (DE-FOA-0000423) and started in September 2011.

The November 2011 and November 2012 project status reports provide more information.

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

Project Contact

Chris Kushman - Environmental Specialist
2956 Ashmun Street Suite A, Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783
906-440-0046
ckushman@itcmi.org

Dwight Sargent - Environmental Services Manager
2956 Ashmun Street Suite A, Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783
906-632-6896
dwights@itcmi.org