Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone: Battle Mountain Colony - 2012 Project

Project Overview
Tribe/Awardee: Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone/Battle Mountain Colony
Location: Battle Mountain, NV
Project Title: Feasibility Study for Battle Mountain Renewable Energy Park
Type of Application: Feasibility
DOE Grant Number: DE- EE0005632
Project Amounts:
DOE: $337,650
Awardee: $0
Total: $337,650
Project Status: See project status
Project Period
of Performance:
Start: June 2012
End: December 2013

Summary

The Feasibility Study for the Battle Mountain Renewable Energy Park project ("Feasibility Study") will assess the feasibility, benefits, and impacts of a 5-megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic (PV) generating system (the "Solar Project" or "Energy Park") on the Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone Indians of Nevada Battle Mountain Colony in Battle Mountain, Nevada. The Energy Park will provide power for export to utility off-takers and job training and employment for tribal members and revenue for the Tribe. This Feasibility Study will be a collaborative effort between the tribal government, consultants, tribal members, and stakeholders and will allow the Tribe to make informed decisions regarding the Solar Project.

The Feasibility Study will evaluate a 5-MW solar PV power plant that will produce energy for export to regional power markets. The Energy Park will produce clean power with zero emissions and provide critical revenue and jobs for the Tribe. The power produced will be sold to a Nevada and a California utility off-taker through a long-term power purchase agreement. The Feasibility Study will provide the comprehensive analysis required for the Tribe to develop the Energy Park. Analysis will include a Solar Resource Assessment, Market Assessment, Transmission and Interconnection Analysis, Technology Analysis, Economic Analysis, Environmental Impact Datasheet, Environmental Assessment, Cultural Impact Assessment, and Fatal Flaw Analysis.

The Feasibility Study will also provide key design materials and a road map for the development and deployment of the Energy Park, including Initial System Designs, Long-term Operations and Maintenance Plans, Business Plans, and Training and Professional Development Plans.

Project Description

Background

The Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone Indians of Nevada is a coalition government with headquarters in Elko, Nevada, serving four distinct Shoshone colonies (or Bands) in Nevada: Battle Mountain Colony, Elko Colony, South Fork Colony, and Wells Colony. The Te-Moak Tribal Council has shared jurisdiction over tribal lands, though the colonies retain sovereignty over other affairs, and each Colony has its own separate governing council. The Te-Moak Tribe and Colonies were organized under the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934; constitution and by-laws were adopted and approved in 1938 and amended in 1982.

The development of the Energy Park and other renewable energy projects is a key component of the Tribe's long-term goals of conserving their tribal property; developing their resources; and promoting the welfare of tribal members and their descendants. The Tribe is committed to taking advantage of the rapidly emerging renewable energy economy to further its goals to provide economic opportunities for tribal members.  The Energy Park and Feasibility Study will make culturally and environmentally appropriate use of the Tribe's land and resources, support its efforts to educate members and the community, and preserve and protect the health of the environment.

The Tribe has been considering development of an Energy Park on its reservation lands for more than a year and has met with several consultants and subject matter experts to review the opportunity. Based on these initial meetings, it has been proposed that a 5-MW solar energy system would be an appropriate use of the site based on geography, availability of interconnection, federal and state renewable energy policies, and current market requirements.

In 2009 the Tribe engaged Pinnacle Consulting to conduct initial analysis and planning for the project. That initiative was completed in November 2010 and the Tribe signed a Letter of Intent with a company to pursue development of the Renewable Energy Park. That company has approached NV Energy and other energy off-takers on behalf of the Tribe and has received initial interest in purchasing power from a portfolio of projects, including the Battle Mountain Renewable Energy Park.

The Feasibility Study is a critical step in completing the Energy Park and realizing the benefits of the Tribe's Energy Vision.

Project Objectives

The objectives of the Feasibility Study are to establish the feasibility, benefits, and impacts of the proposed 5-MW solar PV generating system on the Battle Mountain Band Colony in Battle Mountain, NV.

Specific project objectives are:

  • Identify technical feasibility of the Solar Project.
  • Quantify economic benefits of the Solar Project.
  • Identify environmental impact and benefits of the Solar Project.
  • Identify optimal sites on the reservation for the location of the Solar Project.
  • Engage and educate tribal members and leadership regarding the opportunities of the Solar Project.
  • Develop an action plan to further develop the Solar Project.

The Solar Project will provide training and employment opportunities to tribal members, long-term income for the Tribe, and even greater environmental benefits.

Project Scope

The Feasibility Study will follow a four-phased approach of Project Organization and Initiation, Data Collection and Analysis, Recommendations, and Design. This four-phased approach follows a proven methodology for creating holistic, comprehensive designs and plans to support significant initiatives.

Phase 1: Project Organization and Initiation brings all stakeholders to the table to align resources and activities. Key activities include confirmation of the Project Plan, and the Project Kickoff to formally start project activities.

Phase 2: Data Collection and Analysis is a rigorous effort to collect data from primary and secondary sources to ensure a holistic, comprehensive analysis. The team will work with tribal members and consultants, utilizing public and proprietary models and tools to assess the projects.

Phase 3: Recommendations is a highly collaborative process that leverages the Analysis completed in Phase 2 with the wisdom and judgment of tribal leaders, stakeholders, and community members to develop project recommendations, including overall project feasibility and critical design parameters for land use, technology, project structures, and long-term operations and management.

Phase 4: Design takes the analysis and recommendations from the previous phases to develop specific system designs and implementation road maps.

Project Location

The Battle Mountain Band Colony is located on the west side of the city limits of the town of Battle Mountain, Nevada. It consists of two separate parcels of land totaling 683.3 acres. The original 677.05-acre reservation was established by Executive Order on June 18, 1917, for Shoshones living near Winnemucca and Battle Mountain. By an Act of Congress on August 21, 1967, an additional 6.25 acres were added to colony lands. The site for the Feasibility Study is approximately 271 acres in the northern portion of the reservation straddling Interstate 80.

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 March 2014 project status report provides more information.

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

Project Contact

Donna Hill, Coordinator
37 Mountain View
Battle Mountain, NV 89820
775-635-2004 x104
coordinatorbmbc@hotmail.com

Gelford Jim
37 Mountain View
Battle Mountain, NV 89820
775-635-2004 x 110
gjbmhealth@hotmail.com