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Pueblo of Jemez - 2002 Project

Project Overview
Tribe/Awardee: Pueblo of Jemez
Location: Jemez Pueblo, NM
Project Title: Pueblo of Jemez Geothermal Feasibility Project
Type of Application: Feasibility
DOE Grant Number: DE-FC36-02GO12104
Project Amounts:
DOE: $179,056
Awardee: $0
Total: $179,056
Project Status: Complete  More
Project Period
of Performance:
Start: August 2002
End: March 2004


The Pueblo of Jemez is conducting a feasibility study to determine the potential for development of geothermal resources on Jemez Tribal Trust Lands.

The main focus of this project is to evaluate the business opportunities offered by geothermal resources with an ultimate goal of identifying the best and most appropriate geothermal technology and application that matches the geothermal resource characteristics, cultural framework, and demographics. The most economically, technically, and culturally feasible direct-use geothermal technology will be formulated into a business plan that is best suited to activate and sustain economic development at Jemez Pueblo. Geothermal-driven economic development at Jemez will foster local tribal employment, build Pueblo economic assets, and promote energy self-sufficiency.

Project Description


This feasibility study will provide Jemez tribal leaders with the technical, financial, and natural resource information necessary to determine if utilizing geothermal resources is a viable economic development option for Jemez Pueblo.


The geothermal feasibility study will be subdivided into three distinct yet overlapping objectives. These objectives will include the following:

  • Geotechnical Resource Assessment

    NMSU will begin by reviewing and compiling all historical geothermal investigation information conducted at Jemez Pueblo. This information will be consolidated and utilized to determine existing information gaps. NMSU will proceed by collecting non-invasive geothermal data in the southern and northern portions of Jemez Pueblo proper. All historical and new data will be consolidated and NMSU will provide Jemez Pueblo with a preliminary assessment of geothermal resources and potential development locations.

  • Engineering and Economic Analysis

    Simultaneously, NMSU and McNeil Technologies Inc. (McNeil) will perform an engineering and economic analysis of low-temperature development options. An evaluation of direct-use development applications such as greenhouse, spa/bathhouse, aquaculture, etc., will be considered during this phase of the project. Once complete, a business plan will be written for the development option that best meets tribal needs and resources.

  • Planning and Education

    Throughout this feasibility study a great deal of emphasis will be placed on education of tribal leaders and decision makers about geothermal development options. This is important because the decision to develop geothermal resources will ultimately require the Pueblo to commit large capital allocations. Jemez Pueblo is not a gaming tribe nor has it developed natural resources such as timber and minerals, and therefore the Pueblo has limited capital investment capabilities. A clear understanding of capital investment requirements, personnel needs, operations and maintenance needs, job development opportunities and revenue potential are critical to Jemez decision makers.

Project Location

The Pueblo of Jemez is located in north-central New Mexico on the southwestern flanks of the Jemez Mountains. A portion of the Jemez Pueblo unit is underlain by a low-temperature geothermal system that manifests itself as thermal seeps and springs along a short segment of the Jemez River near the southern boundary of the Jemez Pueblo unit. These thermal seeps and springs have been used by Jemez tribal members for centuries.

Project Status

This project is complete. For more, see the final report (PDF 1.7 MB). Download Adobe Reader.

This project was competitively selected under the Tribal Energy Program's FY2002 solicitation, "Renewable Energy Development on Tribal Lands," and started in September 2002. The October 2002 (PDF 635 KB) and October 2004 (PDF 1.7 MB) presentations provide more information. Download Adobe Reader.

For other information, contact one of the project contacts.

Project Contact

Mehrdad Khatibi, Acting Director
Department of Resource Protection
Pueblo of Jemez
P.O. Box 100
Jemez Pueblo, NM 87023
Telephone: (505) 834-7696
Fax: (505) 834-7697

Vincent Toya, Tribal Administrator
Pueblo of Jemez
P.O. Box 100
Jemez Pueblo, NM 87023
Telephone: (505) 834-7359
Fax: (505) 834-7331