SERC to Assist Yurok Tribe with Wind and Hydro Study

Jenny and Austin taking stream measurements

SERC's Jenny Tracy (left) and Yurok Tribe's Austin Nova (right) taking stream measurements (Photo Credit Kellie Brown)

After working with the Yurok Tribe for the last few years on energy education and planning projects, we are excited to be conducting a detailed feasibility study that we hope will result in the installation of renewable energy hardware on the Yurok Reservation.

In a recently completed study for the Tribe (SERC Energy News, Fall 2006), SERC identified hydro and wind energy as two of the most promising renewable energy resources on the Reservation. SERC is now embarking on a new DOE-funded feasibility study to analyze opportunities for the development of these resources. Our study will equip the Tribe to move forward with project development if any of the project opportunities look favorable.

The wind and hydro energy feasibility study will span two years. In the first year, SERC will work with the Tribe to install two hydro energy monitoring stations and one wind energy monitoring station. These stations will gather stream flow and wind speed data for a one-year period. SERC will work with the Tribe to determine the project sites to be studied. In addition to the expected energy resource potential, factors we will consider when selecting project sites will include proximity to Yurok cultural sites and other potential environmental impacts.

We will conduct the feasibility analyses in year two of the project. These will include an assessment of the energy production potential for each project, life cycle economic analyses, preliminary environmental assessments, and the development of business plans and financing options. We hope that this study will lead to the development of wind and hydro energy resources on the Reservation and the economic and energy security benefits that those projects will bring to the Tribe.

About Jim Zoellick

James is a Senior Research Engineer at SERC. He has a B.S. Degree in Environmental Resources Engineering from Humboldt State University, and has worked professionally in the energy field since 1990. Since 1995 he has been a project manager at SERC and has been involved in the design, development, installation, and start-up of electrolytic hydrogen generation systems, hydrogen vehicle fueling stations, hydrogen fuel cell power systems, and solar electric power systems. Mr. Zoellick was the project manager and lead designer for both the Schatz Hydrogen Generation Center and the Zweig Education Building Fuel Cell System at SunLine Transit . Mr. Zoellick's additional work at SERC has included the development and demonstration of hydrogen fuel cell systems for real world applications, including vehicles and stationary, portable and remote power systems. Mr. Zoellick has also been involved in the design, installation, testing and modeling of photovoltaic energy systems, including the design and installation of a 2 kW AC grid-intertied system at the Campus Center for Appropriate Technology. Mr. Zoellick has taught several college level energy courses. He is the current chairman for the City of Arcata Energy Committee.