Fort Bidwell Indian Community - 2005 Project

Project Overview
Tribe/Awardee: Fort Bidwell Indian Community
Location: Fort Bidwell, CA
Project Title: Geothermal Direct Use Feasibility Study on the Fort Bidwell Indian Reservation
Type of Application: Feasibility
DOE Grant Number: DE-FG36-05GO15181
Project Amounts:
DOE: $133,207
Awardee: $9,013
Total: $142,220
Project Status: Complete  More
Project Period
of Performance:
Start: September 2005
End: December 2006

Summary

The Fort Bidwell Indian Reservation (FBIR) is rich in renewable energy resources. Development of its geothermal resources has the potential to profoundly affect the energy and economic future of the FBIR. The proposed feasibility study will assess the feasibility of installing a geothermal district heating system to provide low-cost, efficient heating of existing and planned residences, community buildings, and water using an existing geothermal well.

Project Description

The Gidutikad Band of the Northern Paiute, known as the Fort Bidwell Indian Community (FBIC), reside on their ancestral lands in the extreme northeast corner of California. The Fort Bidwell Indian Reservation (FBIR) in Modoc County, California has documented geothermal, biomass, and hydropower energy. However, it is the geothermal resource that has the potential to profoundly impact the energy and economic future of the tribe. The proposed feasibility study will assess the feasibility of installing a geothermal district heating system to provide low-cost, efficient heating of existing and planned residences, community buildings, and water using an existing geothermal well.

Objective

The objective of this work is to provide the tribe with presentations, tours of facilities, and participation and training in the design, cost-benefit analysis, and development of recommendations for a project path. The proposed work will culminate in a comprehensive report laying out the issues, technical requirements, and expected benefits of using geothermal heating on the FBIR, with a discussion of other potential economic uses of the excess geothermal hot water from the geothermal wells.

Scope

The following steps will be taken by the Fort Bidwell tribe:

  • Building Identification and Assessment of Heating Loads

    Document the current energy sources (electricity, propane, wood) and historical costs for space heating and hot water, and the heating equipment used in the current and planned residential and community buildings. Document and photo-document project buildings and existing piping in geographical information systems (GIS).

  • Evaluation of Geothermal Resources

    Confirm and document the current well capacity and integrity of the wellhead equipment, temperature, and chemistry.

  • Analysis of Technology and Preliminary System Design

    Identify the appropriate hydronic technology for individual project buildings. Select equipment, piping, and controls appropriate for use in a district heating system. Select the appropriate disposal method for geothermal water to create a warm water wetland/pond. Develop a preliminary system design and document the system in GIS mapping to facilitate final engineering should a decision be made to proceed with an installation project. The preliminary design will include recommended controls and computer monitoring for on-site and off-site troubleshooting.

  • Environmental Evaluation

    Identify all permitting and regulatory requirements of a district heating system, including NEPA, archeology, biology, and discharge vs. injection. Incorporate predicted costs of environmental compliance into the economic/benefits analysis.

  • Economic/Benefits Analysis

    Compare the costs/benefits of: (1) existing equipment and energy resources, (2) replacing existing equipment, (3) adapting existing equipment to geothermal use, and (4) injection vs. discharge of used geothermal water.

  • Training, Professional Development, and Community Awareness

    During all phases of this project, a designated member of the tribe will participate in all aspects of this project for the purpose of gaining expertise in the issues and technology of a geothermal district heating system. The Tribal Council and interested tribal members will tour geothermal district heating systems and attend presentations on how the systems work, benefits, and maintenance requirements.

  • Final Feasibility Study

    Prepare a report documenting the information collected, the analysis, and recommendations for preliminary design and decisions to be made in order to proceed with installation of a system — such as training of tribal members for ongoing system maintenance or hiring of an outside contractor to monitor and make periodic visits. Standard and tribal-specific opportunities for financing projects will be identified in collaboration with FBIC staff.

Project Location

The Gidutikad Band of the Northern Paiute, known as the Fort Bidwell Indian Community, reside on their ancestral lands in the extreme northeast corner of California totaling 3,543 acres. The reservation is situated within the tribe's aboriginal territory in Modoc County, 12 miles south and east of the Oregon and Nevada borders (dubbed "frontier" due to the distance from metropolitan areas). The FBIR lies on high desert on the eastern slopes of the 10,000-foot Warner Mountain Range.

Project Status

This project is complete. For details, see the final report (PDF 24.0 MB). Download Adobe Reader.

The project was competitively selected under the Tribal Energy Program's FY2 004 solicitation, "Renewable Energy Development on Tribal Lands," and started September 2005. The October 2005 (PDF 5.0 MB) and October 2006 (PDF 10.0 MB) presentations provide more information. Download Adobe Reader.

For other information, contact one of the project contacts.

Project Contact

Ms. Ceola Norton
P.O. Box 129130, Mee Thee Uh Road
Fort Bidwell, CA 96112
Telephone: (530) 279-6310
Facsimile: (530) 279-2233
Email: cnorton@crihb.ihs.gov