The Tamástslikt Cultural Institute dedicated its new 50-kilowatt Endurance wind turbine, the latest step on Tamástslikt’s path toward creating a net-zero building. Thad Roth, Energy Trust or Oregon renewable energy sector lead, attended the dedication ceremony and presented a $170,992 cash incentive for the system to Chairman Gary Burke and Treasurer Aaron Hines of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla.
The Tamástslikt Cultural Institute is a nonprofit located on the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation in Eastern Oregon. The system is the first installation of its kind in Oregon and the only wind turbine on a reservation in the Pacific Northwest. The wind system follows on the heels of more than a decade of energy conservation efforts that have more than halved the institute’s electricity and natural gas consumption.
Thad was one of a handful of speakers at the ceremony, attended by the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Board of Trustees and more than 50 community members, media and visitors. “Projects like these may take a while to complete but it’s here for generations and worth the journey,” he said. “I congratulate all of you on your leadership and your efforts to go net zero. You are on the cutting edge.”
The new turbine is expected to produce more than 94,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually, or about 20 percent of the institute’s electricity needs. Tamástslikt estimates that this will add up to approximately $480,000 in energy savings over 30 years. The turbine will also be a valuable educational tool for Tamástslikt visitors, especially for the school children who often visit to learn about tribal culture and values. An energy education kiosk, housed in the lobby of the cultural center, will display the turbine’s real-time energy generation.
In addition to the Energy Trust cash incentive, the system qualified for up to $257,372 in a funding award from customers of Pacific Power’s Blue SkySM renewable energy program.