Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation - 2005 Project

Project Overview
Tribe/Awardee: Warm Springs Reservation, Confederated Tribes of the
Location: Warms Springs, OR
Project Title: Feasibility Study for Geothermal Energy Power Development on the Warm Springs Reservation
Type of Application: Feasibility
DOE Grant Number: DE-FG36-05GO15177
Project Amounts:
DOE: $161,958
Awardee: $32,524
Total: $194,482
Project Status: Complete  More
Project Period
of Performance:
Start: August 2005
End: March 2007

Summary

In 1991, the tribe commissioned a geological assessment of the Mt. Jefferson area that identified an area of high geothermal resource potential. The current tribal council considers the development of renewable energy resources to be a priority (to diversify tribal enterprises) and have authorized further study of the feasibility of developing a geothermal power plant. This feasibility study will analyze cost, risk, contract, and schedule factors to provide a comprehensive evaluation of the viability of a 30-50 MW commercial power plant on the eastern slope of the Mt. Jefferson stratovolcano.

Project Description

The purpose of the feasibility study is to provide tribal planners and the Tribal Council with a development plan, cost estimate, and schedule for the development of a geothermal power plant on tribal lands in the Mt. Jefferson area. The feasibility study will analyze cost, risk, contract, and schedule factors in sufficient detail to provide a comprehensive evaluation of the commercial viability of a 30 to 50 MW power plant. The information will be used by tribal planners and the Tribal Council to evaluate alternative ownership and development options.

Objective

The proposed feasibility study has been designed to assess a specific area of the Mt. Jefferson stratovolcano. Prior geothermal assessments conducted by the tribe identified an area with high potential for high-temperature geothermal resources. At that time, the Tribal Council determined that other resource programs involving timber management and hydroelectric development took priority. The current Tribal Council considers the development of renewable energy resources to be a priority and have authorized further study of the feasibility of developing a geothermal power plant. The feasibility study will allow the Confederated Tribes to conduct a timely assessment of the geothermal development options during this period of low timber revenues. A tribal geothermal energy power project is not only consistent with the purposes of the reservation, but also essential to continuing the advancement of the membership.

Scope

The feasibility study final report will document the results of the study on the following six issues:

  • Resource Development Plan

    This section will document the estimated cost, logistical issues, and time frame required to develop the geothermal resource area including critical decision points and risk assessments for each phase of the resource development program. This section of the report will describe each major phase of the geothermal resource development program such as additional geological and geophysical studies, well field drilling, and reservoir testing programs.

  • Power Plant Development Plan

    This section will document the estimated cost, time frame, and financial commitments required to design and construct a geothermal power plant. This section will also document the cost and advantages/disadvantages of the transmission line routes and grid interconnection alternatives.

  • Power Market

    This section will document the potential for new power sales from a reservation power plant, evaluate the regional need for power from a geothermal power plant, and discuss the current and future trends for green power markets and the price of green power. This section will include a discussion of potential customers who may consider purchase of the power output from the geothermal power plant.

  • Economic Model

    This section will document the economic evaluations of the project including the required market price to generate sufficient revenue to service the capital cost debt and operating cost of the power plant, while still providing economic benefits to the tribe.

  • Ownership Options

    This section will provide an analysis of ownership options, which includes a discussion of potential risk and revenues to the tribe under different ownership options.

  • Constraints

    This section will provide an analysis of constraints such as environmental conditions, sovereignty issues, and financial limitations.

Project Location

Reservation lands extend from the summit of Oregon's Cascade Mountains and snowcapped Mt. Jefferson at 10,497 feet, east to the Deschutes River's elevation at 1,000 feet, with the Metolius River and Lake Billy Chinook forming the southern boundary.

Project Status

This project is complete. For details, see the final report (PDF 1.6 MB). Download Adobe Reader.

The project was competitively selected under the Tribal Energy Program's FY2004 solicitation, "Renewable Energy Development on Tribal Lands," and started September 2005. For more information, see the October 2005 (PDF 2.1 MB), October 2006 (PDF 7.0 MB) and November 2007 (PDF 1.8 MB) project status reports. Download Adobe Reader.

For additional information, contact the project contact.

Project Contact

Mr. James Manion
Warm Springs Power Enterprise
P.O. Box 960, 5180 Jackson Trail Road
Warm Springs, OR 97761
Telephone: (541) 553-1046
Facsimile: (541) 553-3436
Email: J_Manion@wspower.com