Feasibility Study for Renewable Energy Development on Tribal Lands

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Project Objective: The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians (MBCI) conducted a study of the feasibility of siting a renewable energy biomass-based installation on tribal lands. The purpose of the study was to determine whether such an installation can be economically sustainable, as well as consistent with the cultural, social, and economic goals of the Tribe. Scope: To achieve the goal of the feasibility study, the following tasks were carried out: (1) Resource availability assessment--The objective of this assessment was to determine the availability of both poultry litter and wood residues for use in the proposed facility. (2) Power utilization assessment--The ... continued below

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John Hendrix, Project Director; Charles Weir, Project Manager; Dr. John Plodinec, Technology Advisor & Dr. Steve Murray, Economic Advisor July 21, 2005.

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Description

Project Objective: The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians (MBCI) conducted a study of the feasibility of siting a renewable energy biomass-based installation on tribal lands. The purpose of the study was to determine whether such an installation can be economically sustainable, as well as consistent with the cultural, social, and economic goals of the Tribe. Scope: To achieve the goal of the feasibility study, the following tasks were carried out: (1) Resource availability assessment--The objective of this assessment was to determine the availability of both poultry litter and wood residues for use in the proposed facility. (2) Power utilization assessment--The objective of this assessment was to determine the potential market size for power produced, the existing infrastructure for delivering power to that market, and the costs and economic returns for doing so. (3) Technology review--The objective of this review was to identify one, or more, technical options for detailed economic and technical assessment. The study considered a range of feedstock and product mixtures of poultry litter; wood residues as feedstock; and electrical power and other ancillary products as outputs. Distributed power sources was also examined. Technologies ranging from gasification to systems that produce both power and value-added chemicals were considered. Technologies selected for detailed review were those that can be sized to process the amount of available feed (poultry litter, or poultry litter and wood residues), and that also appear to make economic sense in terms of the value of their inputs. The technology review leaned heavily on the experience from similar prior DOE projects, particularly those conducted by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). NREL was involved in a consultative role, so that the project team could leverage their experience. (4) Systems Design(s)--Based on the technology review, a pre-conceptual design for an installation was developed. This included identification of unit operations and equipment, maintenance, manpower, feedstock requirements, and output (power and any other ancillary products). Energy and mass flows were identified. (5) Manpower development assessment--The objectives of this assessment was to identify training needs for the selected option(s), and determine how they can best be met. Using the manpower estimates from the pre-conceptual system design, skills and training needs were to be identified. A plan for providing the needed manpower was to be developed, and any associated costs determined. (6) Economic assessment--The objective of this assessment was to determine the economic viability and sustainability of the technology option(s) identified through the technical review option. The costs of bringing the feedstock to the proposed facility were combined with nominal operation costs and potential production distribution costs to identify total costs. Revenue from power distribution (and, possibly, from sale of ancillary products) were combined with any possible government credits or payments to identify gross revenue. Economic viability was determined by net revenue and return on investment. A business plan for the selected option was to be produced that would consider long-term sustainability of the project. (7) MBCI compatibility assessment--The objective of this assessment was to determine whether the renewable energy technology was compatible with the MBCI's cultural, social and economic values. As part of this assessment, the environmental impacts and benefits were to be determined (Environmental stewardship is an important part of the Choctaw culture.). The effects of a project on employment were projected. The compatibility of the renewable energy project with MBCI cultural and social values were determined. Most importantly, the compatibility of the renewable energy installation with the MBCIs economic development goals and directions were determined. A project team led by the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians (MBCI) conducted the feasibility study. The team included the Mississippi Alternative Energy Enterprise (MAEE), the Mississippi State University Food and Fiber Center, Mississippi State University Diagnostic Instrumentation and Analysis Laboratory (DIAL), and the Mississippi State University Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. This report and its findings are based on the best available data existing during the covering period and the analysis reflects good faith estimates and assumptions of factors for a biomass-based renewable energy project for the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and any conclusions or finding herein should not be extrapolated to other areas of the country.

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  • Report No.: None
  • Grant Number: FC36-02GO12102
  • DOI: 10.2172/850342 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 850342
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc786250

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Creation Date

  • July 21, 2005

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Dec. 3, 2015, 9:30 a.m.

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  • Aug. 30, 2016, 6:57 p.m.

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John Hendrix, Project Director; Charles Weir, Project Manager; Dr. John Plodinec, Technology Advisor & Dr. Steve Murray, Economic Advisor. Feasibility Study for Renewable Energy Development on Tribal Lands, report, July 21, 2005; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc786250/: accessed October 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.