Size: 1 sq. mi.
Median income: $27,600
The Yavapai-Apache Nation has taken a strong approach in identifying potential renewable energy generation projects. Such projects include but are not limited to solar, wind, and biomass. Consideration of each type of renewable generation has resulted in priorities including small and larger scale projects. This brief description of potential renewable projects is a compilation of previous reports and current research within the Nation’s Economic Development Authority (EDA), Utilities, Housing and Environmental Protection Departments.
The Yavapai-Apache Nation has identified a need to generate a comprehensive Energy Action Plan with the goal of achieving a sustainable supply of energy for the future generations of the Yavapai-Apache people. The Nation’s Energy Action Plan (NEAP) will incorporate individual projects such as the WAPA hydropower allocation and how the Tribe can prepare to recapture the allocation and distribute to the Nation’s end users (i.e. Tribal Members). The NEAP will also include non-renewable generation as a hybrid model that incorporates cogeneration. EDA has incorporated every viable option that will help the Nation in diversifying an Energy Portfolio that is strategic yet encompassing all types of energy generation.
The Yavapai Apache Nation is pursuing several facility-scale solar PV arrays, and has performed feasibility studies for PV capacity on its administration building (65 kW) and social services building (20kW). The Nation has identified the system size, developed plans for construction, and is working through the process of developing a sound financing mechanism to fund the project. The Nation submitted a proposal to the U.S. DOE 2013 TEP funding opportunity to support both installations, but the project was not selected.
The Nation has proposed for 2015 to perform an energy audit and feasibility study for a commercial scale system to offset the energy load and to lower the overall cost of energy for Cliff Castle Casino. Cliff Castle Casino is a 114,000 square-foot multi-amenity facility frequented by residents, visitors and vacationers.
The Yavapai Apache Nation has distributed solar capacity on 38 residential rooftops and powers streetlights with solar in the Clarkdale, Camp Verde, Middle Verde and Tunlii communities. The residences are newly constructed all-electric-appliance homes, and the solar capacity installed defrays energy costs for occupants. The Nation anticipates construction for 30 additional homes in 2016 which will be retrofitted with solar systems to help lower the living costs for the low income families who will be placed in the new development. The Nation in 2014 also installed 30 solar street lights throughout three communities which have provided additional security for the residents.
The Yavapai-Apache Nation has an abundant natural solar resource to its advantage. There are numerous opportunities for the Nation to utilize solar and thermal technologies to reduce the Nation’s demand for energy and to peak shave its demand. In the past the Nation has proven that solar projects are viable and vital to the development of the Nation’s community. The daycare, food bank, and clinic have all demonstrated the viability of solar generation, which will be the foundation of institutionalizing community capacity to engage in large-scale solar energy projects. The large scale projects hold promise for the diversification of the Nation’s economic base by creating new sources of revenue and creating jobs in the energy industry.
The second type of renewable generation to be considered is wind. Previous reports have stated there is no appreciable wind energy resource in proximity of the Yavapai-Apache Nation, but this does not mean it should be overlooked on a small scale, for diversifying the Nation’s energy options, and potentially for use by water pumps for agriculture and livestock.
The third type of renewable generation that the Nation is considering is biomass. Today there are numerous technologies that can utilize bio-fuel resources to produce energy, reduce landfill size and recycle valuable materials that would otherwise be buried. In 2002 the Yavapai-Apache Nation was the recipient of a Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) grant to study the feasibility of a developing a forest waste biomass plant on the Reservation.
This information was edited from a statement provided by tribal representatives. The census data was found online and represents 2010 figures.
- Buddy Rocha, Jr., Economic Development Director
- Demographic Analysis of the Yavapai Apache Nation