Yurok Energy Upgrade Complete

Yurok PV Array

Project Manager Jim Zoellick checks the shading profile for the Weitchpec solar electric array. (Photo credit SERC.)

The Yurok Tribe recently completed energy upgrades at their Klamath and Weitchpec Tribal offices. This included the installation of a 15.7 kW AC solar electric array in Weitchpec and energy efficiency upgrades at both locations. As reported in our Fall 2011 newsletter, SERC provided the Tribe with technical support for the project. This included services from start to finish.

Initially, SERC helped the Tribe secure American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding for the project and worked with the Tribe to define the scope of project activities. In addition to ARRA funding, SERC helped the Tribe secure a rebate from the California Solar Initiative program. This offset part of the cost of the solar electric system.

Once the Tribe secured funding, SERC developed a preliminary design for the Weitchpec office solar electric system. This information was then used to develop a bid specification, and SERC supported the Tribe throughout the contractor bidding process. When the solar electric system and energy efficiency upgrades were complete, SERC verified proper installation of the equipment, including performance testing of the solar electric array.

Yurok PV Monitoring Interface

Kyle Palmer tests the interactive touch screen display in the lobby of the Weitchpec Tribal Office. (Photo credit SERC.)

Finally, SERC provided staff training and education and outreach services to the Tribe. This included the installation of a performance monitoring system for the solar electric array, as well as an interactive educational display in the lobby of the Weitchpec Tribal Office. The interactive display features a touch screen monitor that provides information about the project and allows viewers to check out the hourly power output from the solar array. SERC also developed a web page and a brochure to help with the Tribe’s outreach efforts. The website can currently be viewed at www.schatzlab.org/projects/yurok/web/index.html.

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.