Hopi Tribe - 2005 Project

Project Overview
Tribe/Awardee: Hopi Tribe
Location: Kykotsmovi, AZ
Project Title: Feasibility Study for a Hopi Utility-Scale Wind Project: "Sunset Mountains Project"
Type of Application: Feasibility
DOE Grant Number: DE-FG36-05GO15179
Project Amounts:
DOE: $199,091
Awardee: $107,635
Total: $306,726
Project Status: Complete  More
Project Period
of Performance:
Start: September 2005
End: December 2006

Summary

The Hopi Tribe will conduct a feasibility study to determine if development of a utility-scale wind power project with a capacity of approximately 100 MW located on Hopi lands held in fee simple in northern Arizona is feasible. If the feasibility study determines there is no impact or minimal impact to the environment, the tribe may develop the wind power project on two large mesas called East and West Sunset Mountains approximately 16 miles southwest of the city of Winslow.

Project Description

The Hopi Tribe will conduct a feasibility study to determine if development of a utility-scale wind-power project with a capacity of approximately 100 MW located on Hopi lands held in fee simple in northern Arizona is feasible. If the feasibility study determines there is no impact or minimal impact to the environment, the tribe may develop the wind-power project on two large mesas called East and West Sunset Mountains, approximately 16 miles southwest of the city of Winslow.

Objective

In 1995, the Hopi Tribe established the Hopit Potskwaniat, a comprehensive strategic plan to provide a framework for tribal decision making. This plan was updated in 2001 and since then, with mounting concerns about the shutdown of the Mohave plant, the Hopi have undertaken a multiyear economic development planning effort and assessment of environmental and economic impacts of various energy options.

Successfully developing the Sunset Mountains wind project would be a major step toward alleviating Hopi social, economic, environmental, and cultural problems. Revenues from the project will directly offset the loss of revenues from lost coal sales, potentially to a large degree if the Hopi maintain a substantial equity stake in the project. These revenues will work to support critical Hopi social programs that may otherwise face serious funding shortfalls. Jobs and internships related to the wind project would help alleviate chronic unemployment and provide a high-tech new career development avenue for Hopi youth that is consistent with Hopi traditional values. The movement of Hopi youth away from both the reservation and traditional values poses a severe threat to the survival of Hopi culture. Finally, the generation of electricity without long-term damage to the land, water consumption, or harmful emissions would help put the Hopi economy and environment on a truly sustainable path.

Scope

The primary activities of the feasibility study will be to:

  1. Perform a detailed on-site wind resource assessment

  2. Assess the status of renewable energy markets and commence preliminary power marketing activities with target utilities

  3. Establish a transmission interconnect queue position and commence the interconnection study with APS

  4. Perform a technology options analysis

  5. Develop preliminary pro-forma economic and financial projections for the project

  6. Conduct environmental and other land assessments including:

    • Preliminary site construction access and geology review

    • Phase 1 biological and environmental evaluation

    • Class 1 archaeological, cultural, and historical assessments

    • Aviation safety review

    • Conditional-use permit application development process

  7. Conduct an environmental, economic, and cultural benefits assessment

  8. Conduct professional development and capacity building efforts on conditional-use permit application development

  9. Conduct community awareness outreach

  10. Develop and establish a suitable legal and business structure under which the Hopi can effectively pursue development of the project.

Project Location

The Hopi Reservation is in a remote area, comprising approximately 650,000 acres. It is located in the southwestern United States, perched high above northern Arizona, and is surrounded on all sides by the Navajo Reservation. The Hopi people have lived in this area for over a thousand years, on lands that have many energy resources, including considerable coal, solar, and wind resources.

Project Status

The project is complete. For details, see the final report.

The project was competitively selected under the Tribal Energy Program's FY 2004 solicitation, "Renewable Energy Development on Tribal Lands," and started September 2005. The October 2005 (PDF 1.5 MB), October 2006 (PDF 6.0 MB), and November 2007 (PDF 3.0 MB) presentations provide more information. Download Adobe Reader.

For current project status or additional information, contact the project contact.

Project Contact

Norman Honie
P.O. Box 123
Kykotsmovi, AZ 86039
Phone: 928-734-6665
E-mail: nhonie@hopi.nsn.us