Navajo Nation: Navajo Tribal Utility Authority - 2005 Project

Project Overview
Tribe/Awardee: Navajo Nation/Navajo Tribal Utility Authority
Location: Fort Defiance, AZ
(Includes land in New Mexico and Utah)
Project Title: A Feasibility Study to Evaluate Wind Energy Potential on the Navajo Nation
Type of Application: Feasibility
DOE Grant Number: DE-FG36-05GO15180
Project Amounts:
DOE: $200,000
Awardee: $35,212
Total: $235,212
Project Status: Complete  More
Project Period
of Performance:
Start: September 2005
End: December 2007

Summary

The Navajo Tribal Utility Authority's primary objective will be to evaluate the wind energy potential of six sites and to determine if there are sufficient wind energy resources to generate electric power to be used by the Navajo Nation. The Navajo Nation seeks three primary objectives: (1) to make electricity available to all the homes within the nation (wind energy development will play a key role); (2) to expand the range of economic development activities that provide long, challenging, and prosperous careers for young Navajos within these communities; and (3) to utilize existing tribal organizations, enterprises, and manpower on the Navajo Nation to develop this feasibility study.

Project Description

The Navajo Tribal Utility Authority (NTUA), an enterprise of the Navajo Nation government, is proposing to conduct a comprehensive wind energy resources evaluation and development of a wind farm feasibility study. NTUA will select a Navajo wind project team, which will consist of representatives from NTUA, Navajo Nation Government - Division of Natural Resources, Northern Arizona University professors, Dine Care, and other technical wind advisors. This team will conduct the wind energy assessment and develop a technical feasibility study of the wind energy resources on the Navajo Nation.

Objective

On August 2002, the Division of Natural Resources under the Navajo Nation Government drafted the final report of the Navajo Nation energy policy, which focuses on improving energy resource governance within the Navajo Nation. It empowers local communities to share in the resource decision-making process and revenue from sustainable energy-related developments. The Navajo Nation energy policy will use renewable and nonrenewable energy projects to increase administrative capacity and institutional reform.

The Navajo Nation has three primary objectives:

  1. To make electricity available to all the homes within the nation (wind energy development will play a key role in this objective).

  2. To open the range of economic development activities that provide long, challenging, and prosperous careers for young Navajos within these communities.

  3. To utilize existing tribal organizations, enterprises, and manpower on the Navajo Nation to develop this feasibility study.

Successful development of a utility-scale wind would contribute towards these goals.

NTUA's primary objective will be to evaluate the wind energy potential of six sites and determine if there are sufficient wind energy resources to generate electric power to be used by the Navajo Nation.

Scope

Description of tasks is as follows:

  1. Select site for wind assessment by installation of anemometer towers and meteorological studies.

  2. Establish land ownership analysis and permitting.

  3. Conduct electric load assessments and export-marketing analysis.

  4. Negotiate agreements with transmission provider.

  5. Analyze wind turbine technology (wind turbine, blades, and tower cost/power curve), construction, and financing.

  6. Conduct an economic analysis, including a search for credits and a wind output analysis.

  7. Provide benefits and impacts for environmental assessment, biological assessment, avian studies, and cultural inventory (permits from Navajo Nation government/BIA cultural office).

  8. Provide benefit assessment regarding employment, culture, society, etc.

  9. Conduct a preliminary system design.

  10. Plan for training and other tribal professional development.

  11. Provide a cost analysis for long-term operation and maintenance.

  12. Plan for the implementation of a sustainable renewable energy development project.

  13. Investigate financing options, power purchase agreements, sales agreements, etc.

  14. Plan for tribal approval process.

  15. Write a comprehensive business plan.

  16. Meet with tribal leaders to plan project coordination and leadership.

  17. Plan to purchase hardware and software.

Project Location

The Navajo Reservation is both the largest Indian reservation in the United States and the largest federally recognized tribe. The reservation covers a total of 17.5 million acres (26,000 square miles) and stretches across northwest New Mexico, northeast Arizona, and southeast Utah.

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, October 2006, and November 2007 presentations presentations provide more information.

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

Project Contact

Mr. Larry Ahasteen
P.O. Box 170
Fort Defiance, AZ 86504
Phone: 928-729-6263
E-mail: larrya@ntua.com