Stockbridge-Munsee Community - 2012 Project

Project Overview
Tribe/Awardee: Stockbridge-Munsee Community
Location: , WI
Project Title: Stockbridge-Munsee Health and Wellness Center: Renewable Energy Feasibility Study
Type of Application: Feasibility
DOE Grant Number: DE-EE0005631
Project Amounts:
DOE: $57,196
Awardee: $5,000
Total: $62,196
Project Status: See project status
Project Period
of Performance:
Start: June 2012
End: December 2013

Summary

The ends to investigate the feasibility of utilizing renewable energy resources on- site in order to provide electric power as well as heating and cooling energy for the Stockbridge-Munsee Health and Wellness Center (SMHWC) as well as two support buildings that house an emergency diesel generator, a fuel storage tank, a workshop, and garage space for vehicles and equipment.

The Stockbridge-Munsee Community wishes to make one of its most important buildings, the Stockbridge-Munsee Health and Wellness Center (SMHWC), the provider of health care (its most important tribal service), a sustainable and earth-friendly structure. The Tribe believes that the very structure where tribal members go to receive long-term health care should itself be a healthy component of the environment which supports the community.

There are four potential energy sources or strategies that could be used at the site that are currently not utilized. This site offers substantial potential for both solar thermal and photovoltaic (PV) energy. A woody biomass boiler could be considered because of the huge fuel resource within the reservation in the form of logging slash, and other forest wood products which could be harvested. A fourth energy strategy would be a geothermal heat pump, utilizing the earth's natural heating and cooling power, as well as that of the pond that is in front of the building. All these power sources would be used locally. A note on wind power: Preliminary investigations have not been promising for this energy resource at this site.

Project Description

Background

Stockbridge-Munsee Community, Band of Mohican Indians is a federally recognized Indian Tribe occupying the reservation established for it by the Treaty of 1856. The tribal government operates pursuant to a constitution promulgated under the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934. The governing body is Tribal Council, elected by tribal members. Tribal Council is composed of the president, vice president, treasurer and four council representatives. Tribal Council has jurisdiction over all tribal trust and purchased lands.

The Stockbridge-Munsee Community, as of this time, doesn't have a tribal energy resource development organization or tribal consortium for energy development. The tribal council is committed to the development of a sustainable future for the reservation as indicated by more than 50 years of sustainable forestry practices. The tribal environmental department has considered alternative energies and has applied for and received two different funding awards to investigate energy conservation and alternative energy sources. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-funded Indian General Assistance Program (GAP) grant and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Community Development Block Grant have components of both energy conservation and alternative energy development.

On February 24, 2011, Tribal Council held a working meeting with an energy consultant who had done preliminary viewings of various tribal buildings and sites. From this, the consultant concurred with the tribal environmental manager that the most favorable existing tribal building site for alternative energy development is the tribal clinic. Moving forward, for this project, the Tribe wishes to investigate the feasibility of integrating alternative energies into the existing clinic.

This will accomplish many tribal sustainability goals: first, to reduce dependency on fossil fuels; secondly to reduce the carbon footprint of the building; and finally, to use this as an example of the potential of "alternative energies." However, the greater view is to live in a modern world while adapting modern technologies to capture the age-old cultural value of taking care of the earth for the next seven generations.

Project Objectives

During the project, the Tribe will investigate the feasibility of utilizing renewable energy resources on-site in order to provide electric power as well as heating and cooling energy for the SMHWC Tribal Clinic, through the following objectives:

Objective 1: The Stockbridge-Munsee Community will determine the feasibility of installing PV to meet from 30% to 100% of electrical energy power needed to operate the tribal clinic.

Objective 2: The Stockbridge-Munsee Community will explore the feasibility of installing either a closed- or open-loop geothermal heat pump system to meet from 30% to 100% of energy power needed to heat and cool the tribal clinic.

Objective 3: The Stockbridge-Munsee Community will explore the feasibility of installing solar thermal and space heating systems to meet from 30% to 100% of energy power needed to heat the tribal clinic in the winter months.

Objective 4: The Stockbridge-Munsee Community will explore the feasibility of using biomass (renewable wood fiber resources) to meet from 30% to 100% of energy power needed to heat the tribal clinic in the winter months.

Project Scope

To complete this study, the Tribe will hire a consultant to conduct the feasibility study. The consultant will study the clinic site and conduct separate analyses specific to each type of renewable resource: solar PV, geothermal, solar thermal, and biomass. This analysis will include an assessment of the clinic's current and anticipated future energy needs for the next 25 years. This assessment will include details regarding technological, economic, and environmental costs and benefits.

The tasks to be completed are as follows:

Activity 1 – Obtain consultant

Activity 2 – Renewable resource assessment (solar, geothermal, biomass)

Activity 3 – Tribal energy load assessment

Activity 4 – Transmission and interconnection considerations

Activity 5 – Technology analysis

Activity 6 – Economic analysis

Activity 7 – Environmental assessment

Activity 8 – Benefit assessment

Activity 9 – Preliminary system design(s)

Activity 10 – Training and other tribal professional development planning

Activity 11 – Long-term operating and maintenance planning

Activity 12 – Business planning for implementing a sustainable renewable energy development project

Project Location

The reservation is located in a rural, wooded area of north central Wisconsin in the Townships of Bartelme and Red Springs in Shawano County. Approximately 17,000 acres are held in trust for the Tribe. The Tribe owns approximately 6,000 additional acres of land.  The tribal clinic is centrally located on a south-facing hillside along the major transportation thoroughfare of the reservation. This location is very visible to all tribal and nontribal members who travel the route County Highway A. This is the only access road from the west to the major tribal economic venture, the casino and hotel complex. As such, the clinic can serve as a showcase of the beneficial ways that the Tribe is spending the casino profits.

Project Status

The project was competitively selected under the Tribal Energy Program's fiscal year 2011 funding opportunity announcement "Renewable Energy Development and Deployment in Indian Country" (DE-FOA-0000422) and started in June 2012.

The November 2012 and March 2014 project status reports provide more information.

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

Project Contact

Bonnie Welch, Safety Manager
W 12802 County Highway A
Bowler, WI  54416
715-793-5047
bonnie-welch@mohican-nsn.gov

Greg Bunker, Environmentalist
W 12802 County Highway A
Bowler, WI  54416
715-793-4363
greg.bunker@mohican-nsn.gov