Size: 1,604 sq. mi.
Median household income: $34,375
The Hualapai Tribe has been working to pursue utility-scale wind and solar development for several years. The tribe received U.S. Department of Energy funding for resource and feasibility assessment through the Tribal Energy Program in 2009-2010. The tribe also received funding through the 2012 DOE START program to pursue a solar PV micro-grid for the off-grid community of Grand Canyon West.
Through its work on wind project feasibility, the tribe developed a concept for 170 MW of wind capacity at Buck and Doe on Reservation land. The tribe filed an interconnection application and performed a feasibility study to use the WAPA Liberty-Mead 345 kV transmission line for selling generation from the 170 MW of wind, plus additional solar capacity. The tribe also prepared an environmental impact report for its own Tribal Historic Preservation Office. The tribe has performed avian surveys and other environmental studies. The Tribal Council discussed the possibility of partnering with PNE Wind of Germany to lease land for the wind development project, but the wind resource data collected was not sufficiently convincing to seal a partnership. The Tribal Council is not actively pursuing wind development at this time.
In 2010, the tribe also received funding from the BIA Energy and Mineral Development Program for a solar feasibility study. This project identified potential sites for 100-MW solar projects, and several options for an array of up to 1 MW at Grand Canyon West. As a result of this analysis, the tribe is pursuing 100-150 MW of solar PV development at Nelson or Clay Springs. The tribe is also considering developing smaller utility-scale (10-20 MW) solar projects, and would hope to sell the output to local electricity provider Mohave Electric Cooperative.
The tribe received support from the U.S. DOE Tribal Energy Program in 2005 for the establishment of a utility authority to provide service first at Grand Canyon West and then for the remainder of the reservation. In 2014, the tribe established the Hualapai Tribal Utility Authority (HTUA), and is seeking to construct a power line to connect Grand Canyon West to the UniSource grid. HTUA is also considering the establishment of a substation on a 500kV line running across the reservation, in order to be able to tie renewable energy projects into the larger grid.
The tribe has some distributed solar capacity as well. There is a 34kW solar PV array at Grand Canyon West, which according to tribal representatives, does not function well due to poor maintenance. HTUA is working to hire a microgrid operator to support the current Grand Canyon West solar and generator system. There is also a new 19kW solar PV array at the school in Peach Springs.
This information was gathered from conversations with tribal representatives and web searches. The census data was found online and represents 2010 figures.