Quinault Indian Nation
Taholah Relocation Integrated Energy System
Type of Application
DOE Grant Number
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Project Period of Performance
In support of the Taholah Village Relocation Master Plan to relocate the original Taholah Village out of the tsunami inundation zone to higher ground, the Quinault Indian Nation has prioritized resilience measures for several critical facilities. The facilities considered critical to the community in the event of power outages or natural disasters include a 99-kilowatt (kW) solar photovoltaic (PV) system, battery storage, and a backup diesel generator for lighting and refrigeration in the Tribe's new 30,000-square-foot community building.
The Taholah Relocation Integrated Energy System project is the result of several feasibility studies analyzing the resilience benefits of renewable energy and battery storage. In overlaying these studies with the Taholah Village Relocation Master Plan and the tsunami inundation mapping for the original Taholah Village, the Tribe identified the Generations Building as a critical facility for disaster recovery. Located in the new upper village, the Generations Building is outside the tsunami inundation zone. This project aligns with the goal of improving the resilience capabilities of critical facilities in the Upper Taholah Relocation Area, which is a top priority for the Quinault Indian Nation. Over the coming years, the Tribe plans to install a community-scale microgrid system to support multiple critical facilities, including a utility-scale solar PV array and district energy storage system. Therefore, this project presents an initial opportunity for the Quinault Indian Nation to demonstrate the replicability of battery storage solutions, as well as engage and train tribal members to participate in the installation process while providing energy resilience benefits for the Generations Building.
Due to vulnerabilities in the local electrical grid and transportation system that serve the Quinault Reservation, the preparation for this project included modeling a 2-year outage scenario in case of a major seismic event. This project represents a key opportunity to implement resilience strategies to provide life-saving benefits for Quinault tribal members in this disaster scenario.
The Quinault Indian Nation will implement an integrated energy system for a critical facility in the Taholah Relocation Area to promote energy resilience. The proposed system comprises lithium-ion battery storage and solar PV, as well as ancillary electrical equipment to support the Generations Building's operation as a disaster recovery site, providing backup power for critical electrical systems during an outage or natural disaster. Primary goals for this project include improving the resilience profile of the Generations Building, delivering energy cost savings through net energy metering, and demonstrating the feasibility and replicability of battery storage solutions for the Taholah Relocation Area.
The Tribe identified the following measurable objectives for this system's implementation:
- Support identified critical electrical loads of the Generations Building, a 30,000 square foot critical facility located within the relocation zone and outside of the tsunami inundation zone
- Produce an estimated 119,100 kWh/year of renewable electricity, reducing annual energy consumption by roughly 39%
- Provide an estimated $243,393 in energy savings over 25 years while accounting for operations and maintenance costs
- Deliver a workforce development training workshop promoting tribal member opportunities to join the renewable energy workforce, facilitated by a consultant in conjunction with the selected solar installer and Grays Harbor Public Utility District representatives
- Implement an energy monitoring dashboard highlighting renewable energy generation, building energy consumption, and battery storage capacity metrics
- Minimize carbon emissions from the use of diesel generators during an outage
- Allow for daily regeneration of the integrated energy storage system in the event of a 2-year outage scenario following a Cascadia Subduction Event earthquake.
The installation of a ~99-kW solar PV array and ~5-kW/11.2-kWh battery storage system will provide daily energy savings at the utility's retail rate, as well as the ability to bypass rapid-shutdown requirements under the National Electrical Code using an AC-coupled system configuration.
The scope of work for this project includes a public solicitation to identify and select an installation contractor, procurement of specified equipment, final design coordination for integrating the proposed battery storage system, a multiday workforce development training for Quinault tribal members, system installation, and monitoring of the system's performance.
The Quinault Indian Reservation, located in the southwestern corner of Washington's Olympic Peninsula, comprises more than 208,150 acres, including 23 miles of unspoiled Pacific coastline. Over the last several decades, the Quinault have sought to establish strategic plans for mitigating the impending impacts of climate change, including sea-level rise and associated challenges for the Taholah Village community, which currently resides in the tsunami inundation zone at the mouth of the Quinault River. The project will be sited on the Generations Building—a new 30,000-square-foot community facility currently under construction in the Upper Taholah Relocation Area, outside the tsunami inundation zone—with the goal of providing energy resilience during an outage, including a long-term outage following an earthquake and resulting tsunami.
The project was competitively selected under the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Indian Energy's Fiscal Year 2021 funding opportunity announcement "Energy Technology Deployment on Tribal Lands - 2020" (DE-FOA-0002317) and started in October 2021.
The November 2021 and November 2022 project status reports provide more information.