Yavapai-Apache Nation - 2004 Project

Project Overview
Tribe/Awardee: Yavapai-Apache Nation
Location: Camp Verde, AZ
Project Title: Yavapai-Apache Nation Forest Biomass Feasibility Study
Type of Application: Feasibility
DOE Grant Number: DE-FC36-04GO14025
Project Amounts:
DOE: $124,486
Awardee: $0
Total: $124,486
Project Status: See project status
Project Period
of Performance:
Start: April 2004
End: December 2005

Summary

The Yavapai-Apache Nation will determine whether a biopower facility located on the reservation will be economically sustainable and consistent with the nation's economic, cultural, social, and environmental goals. A previous federally funded biomass study concluded that it was possible to develop a biomass project. However, significant additional study, detailed arrangements to obtain biomass resources, and use of appropriate technology would be required to create a financeable business plan. The goal of the Yavapai-Apache Nation is to diversify its economic base and create new businesses that create opportunities for tribal members and revenues for the tribal government. The study will focus on the use of forest thinnings, either alone or mixed with other locally available biomass, to generate electricity that could either be used on the reservation or exported into the power grid.

Project Description

The Yavapai-Apache Nation, through its Energy Office (YAEO) will conduct a study of the feasibility of siting a biomass power generation facility on the Yavapai-Apache Reservation near Camp Verde, Arizona. The technologies to be studied will be those that can readily handle forest products, either alone or in combination with other biomass materials available in proximity to the Yavapai-Apache Reservation. The project would greatly contribute to the health of the forest-land surrounding the Yavapai-Apache Nation by providing a use for small diameter forest thinnings and reducing the danger of catastrophic fires like the Rodeo-Chedeski fire of 2002 which occurred only 80 miles from the reservation.

Objective

The goal of the Yavapai-Apache Nation is to diversify its economic base and create new businesses that create opportunities for tribal members and revenues for the tribal government. The nation's goal is to enhance tribal self sufficiency by producing needed power from sustainable resources. The nation has a fairly diverse economy that includes agriculture, gaming, sand and gravel, and tourism, among others. The development of a profitable, renewable energy facility would help to further diversify the nation's economy into a new industry that would create more stability during business cycles.

The objective of this study is to determine whether a bio-power facility located on the Yavapai-Apache Nation's reservation will be economically sustainable, and consistent with the nation's economic, cultural, social, and environmental goals. The study will focus on the use of the forest thinnings, either alone or mixed with other biomass available in the local area, to generate electricity that could either be used on the reservation or exported into the power grid. The feasibility study will include the development of a thorough business plan that will allow the YAEO, the Yavapai-Apache Economic Development Authority, and the Yavapai-Apache Tribal Council to make an informed decision regarding development.

Scope

In order to achieve the goal of the study, the following tasks will be carried out:

  • Resource Availability Assessment

    The objective of this assessment is to determine the amount and location of both forest products and other biomass for use in the proposed facility.

  • Power Utilization Assessment

    The objective of this assessment is to determine the potential market size for electrical power and other products produced including, the local reservation and export markets, the existing infrastructure for delivering power to those markets, and the costs and economic returns associated with each.

  • Technology Review

    The objective of this review is to identify one or more technical options for detailed economic and technical assessments. The study will consider a range of feedstock and product mixes, based on the resource availability assessment. These will include forest products and mixtures of other biomass feed stocks available from nearby sources such as sewage sludge, livestock manures, and municipal solid waste. The generation of electrical power and other ancillary products as outputs will be considered in the review of the various available technologies. The project will only consider proven reliable and economic technologies.

  • System Design

    Based on the technical review, the most economic and technically viable technology will be selected for an advanced conceptual design for an installation. Vendors will be solicited for project development proposals. The best proposal will be integrated into a final detailed business plan.

  • Manpower Development Assessment

    The objective of this assessment is to identify training needs for the selected option(s), and to determine how they can best be met.

  • Economic Assessment

    The objective of this assessment is to determine the economic viability and sustainability of the technical option(s) identified through the technical review.

  • Yavapai-Apache Nation Compatibility Assessment

    The objective of this assessment is to determine whether the renewable energy installation is compatible with the Yavapai-Apache's cultural, social, and economic values. The environmental impacts and benefits will also be determined.

  • Project Business Planning and Implementation Strategy

    In this final phase of the project, the YAEO and project team will finalize negotiations with fuel source providers, technology vendors, financing sources, and other interested parties to secure agreements that will put into the draft of a final business plan. Upon completion, the business plan will be presented to the YAEDA Board of Directors, and the Tribal Council for contract execution and funding approval.

Background

In October 2002, in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory conducted a preliminary feasibility study to see if it was economic to develop a biomass power plant on the Yavapai-Apache Reservation that would use small diameter forest thinnings as a fuel source. The study concluded that it was possible to develop such a project, however, significant additional study and detailed arrangements for biomass resources and appropriate technology would be required to create a financeable business plan.

Project Location

The nation is comprised of five separate parcels totaling approximately 700 acres in the Verde Valley about 100 miles north of Phoenix, Arizona. The tribal headquarters is in Yavapai-Apache Middle Verde Community near Camp Verde, Arizona.

Project Status

The project was competitively selected under the Tribal Energy Program's FY2003 solicitation, "Renewable Energy Development on Tribal Lands," and started April 2004. The October 2006 presentation (PDF 2.1 MB) provides more information. Download Adobe Reader.

For current project status or additional information, contact one of the project contacts.

Project Contact

Ted Smith, Director
Yavapai-Apache Energy EDA
Yavapai-Apache Nation
2400 W. Datsi Street
Camp Verde, AZ 86322
Telephone: (928) 567-1056
Facsimile: (928) 567-1051
Email: tsmith@yan-tribe.org

Mark Randell, Consultant
Daystar Consulting, LLC
P.O. Box 761
Clarkdale, AZ 86324
Telephone: (928) 634-5595
Facsimile: (928) 634-5595
Email: mrandall@daystar-consulting.com