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Wind power from Tribal lands: given uncertainties in hydropower




Gough, Bob, speaker
Morisette, Jeffrey, moderator
International Wildlife Ranching Symposium, producer

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In the midst of accelerating climatic change and observed weather extremes due to long-term natural variation, as well as our more recent and all-too-efficient anthropogenic transfer of carbon from the earth to the atmosphere, Great Plains Indian Tribes see tremendous clean energy and economic development opportunities on the horizon for mitigation and adaptation literally blowing in the wind. Our centralized electrical energy generation capacity is highly water dependent and our transmission and distribution infrastructure, built over the last half-century, is strung out and exposed across the volatile Upper Great Plains. They are extremely vulnerable and highly susceptible to changes in precipitation and other weather variabilities over both the short and long-term. Our electrical generating capacity inextricably relies upon the surface water resources throughout the Missouri River basin to fuel the federal hydropower generators, and to spin and cool the conventional coal and nuclear thermal plants throughout the region. Our rural transmission and distribution systems that deliver electricity are exposed across vast distances and are extremely vulnerable to a variety of weather related disruptions. American Indian Reservations are also spread across this vast expanse where wind, one of America's most abundant renewable energy resources, can be readily tapped through both community-sized, and large, utility-scaled, distributed generation projects. The economic integration of this variable but abundant resource into the coal and hydropower dominated electrical system can benefit from better planning and forecasting in both the short and long term. This paper examines some critical planning and forecasting issues raised in this context.


Moderator: Jeffrey Morisette.
Presented at the 8th international congress for wildlife and livelihoods on private and communal lands: livestock, tourism, and spirit, that was held on September 7-12, 2014 in Estes Park, Colorado.

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Wildlife management -- Congresses
Range management -- Congresses


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