Yurok Wind and Hydro Feasibility Study

SERC and Yurok Staff Raise a 50m Wind Monitoring Tower

SERC and Yurok Staff Raise a 50m Wind Monitoring Tower (Photo credit SERC).

SERC has been working with Austin Nova and others at the Yurok Tribe to assess the feasibility of developing wind and hydroelectric energy resources on the Yurok Reservation. In the fall of 2008 we installed stream gauging stations on Pecwan and Ke’Pel creeks, and in September of 2009 we installed a 50 meter wind monitoring tower atop the McKinnon Hill ridge. Since then we have collected a substantial amount of wind and hydro data, and we are now prepared to begin analysis of these data to see if energy development projects are feasible.

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Yurok Wind and Hydro Feasibility Study Update

Yurok Stream Flow Monitoring

HSU graduate student Jenny Tracy and Yurok Tribe Planner Austin Nova measure stream flow at Pecwan Creek. (Photo credit SERC).

SERC is working with the Yurok Tribe to examine the feasibility of developing hydro and wind power resources on the Yurok Reservation. SERC and Yurok Tribe staff recently installed gauging stations on Ke’Pel and Pecwan Creeks. These stations provide continuous monitoring of stream elevation. Periodically we visit the sites and measure stream flow. We will use this information to develop stage-discharge curves for the two creeks. The stage-discharge curves will allow us to convert the continuous stream elevation data into flow data. We are also installing rain gauges at each site. We plan to use precipitation data to help us correlate the data for these two streams with other streams in the area for which there are long-term stream flow and precipitation data records.

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Yurok Wind & Hydro Study

Cappell Creek stream mointoring station installation

SERC engineers Mark Rocheleau and Richard Engel work with Tribal Planner Austin Nova to install a stream gauging station on Cappell Creek. (Photo credit SERC).

SERC has been assisting the Yurok nation with energy related projects since 1999. Our current collaboration is to examine the feasibility of developing hydroelectric and wind power resources on the Yurok Reservation. To date, three project sites have and data monitoring equipment is being installed. We will be monitoring stream flows on both Cappell and Pecwan Creeks, and wind speeds on McKinnon Hill. We are currently working with the Tribe to install stream gauging stations on the two creeks. We are also awaiting arrival of a 50-meter meteorological tower from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory that we will install on McKinnon Hill. We plan to have all three data collection systems up and running by the end of the year. We will collect data for a one-year period and will assess the data and determine the feasibility of installing energy generation equipment at these sites. Our work will include life cycle economic analyses; preliminary economic assessments; and the development of business, financing, and project development plans. Watch our future newsletters for project updates.