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Oneida Seven Generations Corp. - 2012 Project

Project Overview
Tribe/Awardee: Oneida Seven Generations Corp.
Location: Oneida, WI
Project Title: Oneida Energy: Power Generation through Waste Conversion Technology
Type of Application: Deployment
DOE Grant Number: DE-EE0005641
Project Amounts:
DOE: $1,119,008
Awardee: $3,305,778
Total: $4,424,786
Project Status: See project status
Project Period
of Performance:
Start: May 2012
End: December 2013


The primary goal of the Oneida Energy project is to achieve the environmental and economic benefits of using waste as a fuel for energy conversion. This energy development project furthers the goals of the Oneida Tribe and Oneida Seven Generations Corporation (OSGC) by reinforcing their cultural responsibility as caretakers of the earth, while providing for future generations through the development of new business revenue streams.

In support of that goal, the Oneida Energy project will implement the final phase of a process that produces electricity from a synthetic gas derived from a process known as pyrolysis. Pyrolysis is the thermal decomposition of organic matter at temperatures sufficient to volatilize organic material and is the fundamental technology process to be employed in the Oneida Energy project. This waste-to-energy project will convert 150 tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) into 5 MW of electricity per hour, which will be placed on the grid and sold to the area utility company.

Specifically, under this grant the capability and capacity to convert synthetic gas generated from municipal solid waste, to 5 MW of electricity per hour, will be added as part of the Oneida Energy project. This will be achieved by purchasing and installing four generator sets produced by Cummins Power Generation.

Project Description


Oneida Seven Generations Corporation (OSGC) is a tribal-chartered, wholly owned corporation of the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin. OSGC created its subsidiary, Oneida Energy Inc. (a State of Wisconsin chartered C corporation) to focus on the development and implementation of energy recovery technologies. Oneida Energy Inc. will build a state-of-the-art energy recovery facility known as waste gasification facility on land that meets the definition of "Indian lands" in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

This project is unique in the many aspects in which it corresponds to the mission of the Oneida Tribe and the mission of OSGC. It corresponds directly to the culture that defines the Oneida people as "caretakers of the land" by reducing the amount of waste being buried and reducing the use of fossil fuels.

The Oneida Energy waste-to-energy project is fully integrated with the goals of the Tribe and its mission "to protect and improve the resources, the standard of living, and the environment in which the Oneida people live while maintaining, enforcing, and exercising the sovereign rights of the Oneida Tribe." It accomplishes this by providing jobs that support families and providing for seven generations by creating new revenue sources that support the health, social, and cultural needs of the Oneida community as well as improving the natural environment.

Project Objectives

The objectives of the Oneida Energy project are:

  1. OSGC and Oneida Energy Inc. will acquire the capability and capacity to convert pyrolytic gases created in a sealed reactor chamber into 5 MW of electricity per hour. This will be achieved by acquiring and installing equipment identified as generator sets (gen sets), which are designed to convert synthetic gas into electricity.

  2. The Oneida Energy project will produce enough renewable energy to provide electrical power for up to 4,000 homes as well as continuously power three gen sets and the pyrolysis/gasification system. A fourth gen set is continuously rotated in as maintenance is performed or in the event one of the gen sets is temporarily down.

  3. The Oneida Energy project will reduce the amount of municipal solid waste (MSW) that is now sent to landfills by 150 tons per day. The energy conversion facility will use that waste as biomass feedstock to process and create the synthetic gas.

  4. The Oneida Energy project will complete the start-up operations for the state-of-the-art energy recovery facility that will serve as a model partnership of a tribal-owned company, nontribal companies, Tribe, and county and local communities. The model creates a working relationship that results in cost benefits to the participants, improves the environmental quality of the area by reducing waste currently going to area landfills, and creates a non-fossil fuel energy source. OSGC will present its model of development to other Tribes and communities to generate discussion regarding the positive impact of energy recovery technologies, the potential for a new revenue source, and promote the education and development of technologies that protect the environment of Indian and other communities across the country.

Project Scope

The following tasks will be completed:

  1. Identify Grants Compliance Contractor
  2. Structure Renewable Energy Model
  3. Write and Prepare Document Model
  4. Review and Spec Gen Sets
  5. Review and Evaluate Test Plan of Equipment
  6. Design/Build 3 Lean Burn Gen Sets and Controls
  7. Install/Startup for First Three Gen Sets
  8. Initiate Commissioning Regarding Install of Three Gen Sets—commissioning process related to efficiency, emission testing, and validation of output
  9. Install Fourth Gen Set
  10. Commissioning Process for Fourth Gen Set to Validate All Specs

Project Location

The Oneida Energy project will be located in the Bay Port Industrial Center in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The 5.88-acre parcel is fee simple land, purchased by Oneida Seven Generations Corporation through its subsidiary Broadway Development and will be used exclusively for the Oneida waste gasification facility.

Project Status

The project was competitively selected under the Tribal Energy Program's fiscal year 2012 funding opportunity announcement "Renewable Energy Development and Deployment in Indian Country" (DE-FOA-0000424) and started May 2012.

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

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

Project Contact

Kevin Cornelius
PO Box 257
Oneida, WI 54155

Janet Bollman
PO Box 97
Sacaton, AZ 85147