Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation - 2002 Project

Project Overview
Tribe/Awardee: Umatilla Reservation, Confederated Tribes of the
Location: Pendleton, OR
Project Title: Renewable Energy Study
Type of Application: Feasibility
DOE Grant Number: DE-FC36-02GO12106
Project Amounts:
DOE: $179,092
Awardee: $0
Total: $179,092
Project Status: Complete  More
Project Period
of Performance:
Start: September 2002
End: September 2004


A 12-month feasibility study conducted by the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) will 1) identify and quantify the various types of renewable energy resources on the Umatilla Indian Reservation (UIR), 2) assess their technical, economic and environmental feasibility for development, and 3) determine their match with long-term tribal goals, development plans, tribal community preference, and tradition.

This first phase of the multiphase project will be to assess the holistic feasibility of what, when, and how renewable energy resources in and near the UIR can be utilized by the CTUIR. Phase I will culminate in a determination of the viability and an implementation plan. In the Phase I study, the feasibility of developing energy supplies from wind, solar thermal, solar photovoltaic, biomass diesel, biomass alcohol, and biomass pellet fuel will be examined. These options will be examined with respect to their potential for rural residential as well as commercial/industrial use, and renewable energy supply business opportunities. The effort will culminate with recommendations, including a prioritization of renewable energy options for development, and an implementation plan that contains a detailed business plan.

Project Description


The tribal objective is to determine the feasibility of integrating renewable energy into its long-term goals and objectives. The CTUIR recognizes the importance of energy in securing its long-term goals and objectives, that fossil energy is finite and not environmentally friendly, and that even renewable energy development without proper study and evaluation can have a very negative impact (for example, dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers have had negative impacts on the CTUIR and other tribes' fisheries and fish).

The project objectives are to 1) identify and quantify six renewable energy options for the UIR, 2) determine the technical and economic viability of each of the six options, 3) prioritize the six options with respect to further development/implementation potential, and 4) develop a detailed business plan for a path forward.


The proposed project is the first phase of a potentially multiphase project to develop renewable energy on the UIR. This phase will provide the necessary foundation to build a renewable energy component to the CTUIR's energy program. This may involve land acquisition or transfer of lands to Trust. Key CTUIR staff have been identified for proposal development and participation in the Phase I study. A team of experienced staff in each of the task areas has been assembled. The team will be led by an experienced principal investigator responsible for overall project performance. The project team will be assisted by the CTUIR's experienced support staff.

The project is divided into three major tasks. In Task 1 the six different types of renewable energy resources on the UIR will be identified and their potential energy output determined. In Task 2 the various renewable energy resources identified in Task 1 will be evaluated in the context of proven energy technologies for use in the UIR area and for compatibility with the existing tribal regional and state infrastructure. Task 3 will be the development of a detailed business plan. Using the results of the previous two tasks, where the various renewable energy options have been identified and prioritized for development potential, and found consistent with the Tribal Overall Economic Development Plan, a detailed business analysis of the priority option will be performed using primary source data on the industry, competitors, market and market area, customers, operations, and financial information.

Project Location

The present-day reservation consists of 172,000 acres of contiguous land located near Pendleton, Oregon. The CTUIR also has an additional 26,000 acres of land that lies outside the current UIR boundary, which it has purchased and put into trust.

Project Status

This project is complete. For more, see the final report (PDF 8.7 MB). Download Adobe Reader.

The project was competitively selected under the Tribal Energy Program's FY2002 solicitation, "Renewable Energy Development on Tribal Lands," and started in September 2002. For additional information, see the project presentations from October 2002 (PDF 598 KB), November 2003 (PDF 1.2 MB), October 2004 (PDF 1.9 MB), and October 2005 (PDF 2.7 MB). Download Adobe Reader.

For other information, contact one of the project contacts.

Project Contact

John Cox, Program Manager
Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
Department of Science and Engineering
Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indians Reservation
P.O. Box 638
Pendleton, OR 97801
Telephone: (541) 966-2801
Fax: (541) 278-5380

Rick Gay, Manager Grants and Contracts
Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indians Reservation
P.O. Box 638
Pendleton, OR 97801
Telephone: (541) 966-2040
Fax: (541) 276-3095