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Yerington Paiute Tribe - 2011 Project

Project Overview
Tribe/Awardee: Yerington Paiute Tribe
Location: Yerington, NV
Project Title: Building Organizational Capacity for Renewable Energy Projects
Type of Application: First Steps (Planning)
DOE Grant Number: DE-EE0005061
Project Amounts:
DOE: $139,610
Awardee: $0
Total: $139,610
Project Status: See project status
Project Period
of Performance:
Start: September 2011
End: December 2012


Under this project, the Yerington Paiute Tribe will create an economic planning organization with decision-making powers separate from the Tribal Council body to facilitate the execution of the Energy Park and other renewable energy projects.

Project Description


The Yerington Paiute Tribe became federally recognized in 1934 under the Indian Reorganization Act. In 1937 the tribe ratified its constitution and by-laws, giving governing power to a seven-person Tribal Council. The tribal community is governed by an elected seven-member Tribal Council, with one of those seven members serving as the chairperson for the organization. The Tribal Council's primary responsibility is to promote and secure the social and economic wellbeing of the tribe and its members. The tribe's organizational structure follows that of the typical hierarchical business model, with a well-defined chain of command and two levels of management between the Tribal Council and the general tribal staff. Today, the Yerington Paiute Tribe is considered one of the most advanced tribes in the State of Nevada.

The funding for this project will enable the tribe to create a decision-making body separate from the Tribal Council that will actively pursue energy-related economic development for the Yerington Paiute Tribe. This effort will be assisted by technical experts who can provide the knowledge to enable the Yerington Paiute Tribe to make the best decisions after careful deliberation, ensuring the energy future of the tribe.

The tribe has long believed that pursuing green technologies is a vital element of the overall stewardship plan to preserve the cultural and historical resources of their tribal lands. The Yerington Paiute Tribe's mission of serving the best interests of its tribal community and pursuing environmentally friendly technologies in the nation and state has proven to be socially beneficial, self-sustaining, and economically beneficial. The new separate decision-making body will actively pursue energy-related economic development to ensure that opportunities afforded the tribe are thoroughly evaluated for the tribe's future benefit.

Project Objectives

Key objectives for this project include:

  • Designing and implement a Section 17 or other economic planning organization to support renewable energy projects
  • Assigning a liaison between the Yerington Paiute Tribe and project partners, including utilities, funders, private contractors, and state and federal agencies
  • Conducting necessary training and professional development
  • Conducting community outreach regarding alternative energy and its benefits
  • Presenting training on existing and future opportunities in renewable energy
  • Informing the Tribal Council of the activities conducted under this program
  • Complying with administrative requirements of this grant.

By focusing on the economic development and planning of this funding, the tribe can remain dedicated to its mission of serving its people while maintaining a stewardship role with its environment.

Project Scope

The projects will be implemented under the direction of the Tribal Council and tribal chairman. A tribal project manager will be responsible for the day-to-day administration of the project. The analysis required to support the plan will be conducted by the environmental manager and consultants in collaboration with tribal members, leaders, and stakeholders. The Tribal Council will be responsible for reviewing and approving project findings.

The tribe will work collaboratively with tribal leaders, stakeholders, and tribal members along with subject matter experts in solar project development and tribal law to explore various options and select the best solutions. The tribe will use a four-phased approach, following a proven methodology for creating holistic, comprehensive designs and plans to support significant initiatives.

Project Location

The Yerington Paiute Tribe is located in Lyon County, Nevada. The tribe's population is approximately 1,060 members, with a majority of that population living in approximately 140 homes located on nearly 1,700 acres of tribal land. This tribal land includes a reservation, which is located about 10 miles north of the City of Yerington. The tribe also has a colony within the City of Yerington that has about 50 of the total 140 tribal homes. The population of Yerington is approximately 3,000. The tribe is located in a heavily agricultural community and has ranch land devoted to alfalfa production.

Project Status

This project is complete. For more, see the final report.

The project was competitively selected under the Tribal Energy Program's fiscal year 2011 funding opportunity announcement "First Steps Toward Developing Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency on Tribal Lands" (DE-FOA-0000422) and started in September 2011.

The November 2011 and March 2014 project status reports provide more information.

For current project status or additional information, please contact the project contact(s).

Project Contact

Justin Whitesides-Environmental Director
603 West Bridge Street,Yerington, NV 89447
(775) 463-7866

Deborah Dunn-Tribal Manager
171 Campbell Lane, Yerington, NV 89447
(775) 463-3301