The Foundation for the American Indian is committing human and fiscal resources to develop wind energy projects. We have many program partners for our renewable energy programs including:

U.S. Department of Energy
White House Initiative on Tribal Colleges & Universities
Environmental Protection Agency
American Indian Higher Education Consortium

Support Letters (in pdf format)
US Department of Energy (DOE)
Environmental Protection Agency
Earth Policy Institute
Bonneville Environmental Foundation
The Energy Foundation
Funder's Netwok
Governor Judy Martz
State of Montana
Senator Max Baucus State of Montana

2002/03 FAI's Wind Energy projects include the following:

Turtle Mountain College, North Dakota

Dr. Carty Monette, President Turtle Mountain College, has designated FAI for co-manager of their Wind Turbine project. FAI is contributing resources for the project

Fort Peck Community College, Montana
FAI, on behalf of the Assiniboine & Sioux Tribes, Fort Peck MT has secured funding from the US Department of Energy in the amount of $352,000 to purchase and install a Vestas 660kw wind turbine at Fort Peck Community College. This will reduce annual electricity cost to the College and A&S Industries by $134,000 and can also provide more than $50,000 to the project in retail Green Tag Sales per year. Monies saved can be allocated to tribal socioeconomic programs. FAI is providing resources and match monies for this wind turbine project.

In spring of 2001, FAI committed approximately $200,000 for the development of American Indian wind projects. FAI's goals and objectives are:

  • To lower electricity costs
  • Establish a Renewable Energy Learning Center
  • Establish tribal working relationships with corporate wind energy partners
  • Maintain and Improve existing electrical grid.
  • Increase community technical skills
  • Increase employment
  • Increase Tribal energy self-sufficiency
  • Improve economic development
  • Increase public/national awareness of Renewable Energy on Native American Lands
  • To help build Native American sustainable communities

Our approach to accomplish these goals is to buy, install, and operate utility scale wind turbines in close proximity to a Tribal Community College or tribal electrical loads. Community colleges will support this initiative by creating a curriculum and providing administration for The Renewable Energy Learning Center in conjunction with The Foundation for the American Indian. The Learning Center will include but not be limited to the following courses of study:

  • Site-specific renewable resource assessments
  • Tribal electrical load management and export markets
  • Transmission and inter-connection considerations
  • Technology and equipment analysis
  • Economic impact analysis
  • Environmental assessment (i.e. benefits and impacts)
  • Benefit assessment (e.g.,employment, cultural and social)
  • Preliminary system design(s)
  • Training and other Tribal professional development planning
  • Short and long-term operation and maintenance planning
  • Business planning for implementing a sustainable renewable energy development project(s).

FAI will work with Tribes to negotiate and expand the energy agreements with the local power authority to include the purchase of the surplus power from the project. It will draw data from pro-forma and detailed multi-year economic analysis and assumptions to obtain power purchase agreements or letters of commitment with a specific plan schedule. This process will be formalized, and presented to a Renewable Energy Learning Center as a course of study. FAI will work with Tribes to:

  • Establish a hands-on training and maintenance facility in conjunction with the Renewable Energy Learning Center
  • Supply the necessary electrical components to enhance the success of the project
  • Train the appropriate instructors at the community college to sustain the learning process
  • Recruit the appropriate personnel to manage, and work in the areas of electrical transmission and distribution
  • Establish a fund to continually maintain the transmission and distribution aspects of the project.

Corporate partnerships will ease the financial burden of this project as well as establish a course of study related to renewable energy. This course of study applies to economic development in concert with the cultural, social, and long-term economic goals of the Tribe, including capacity building within the Tribe.

FAI is a member of the American Wind Energy Association

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