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Title: Sizing Small-Scale Renewable Energy Systems for the Navajo Nation and Rural Communities.

Abstract

The Navajo Nation consists of about 55,000 residential homes spread across 27,000 square miles of trust land in the Southwest region of the United States. The Navajo Tribal Utility Authority (NTUA) reports that approximately 15,000 homes on the reservation do not have electricity due to the high costs of connecting rural homes located miles from utility distribution lines. In order to get these rural homeowners access electricity, NTUA and other Native owned companies are examining small-scale renewable energy systems to provide power for necessary usage such as lighting and refrigeration. The goal of this study is to evaluate the current renewable deployment efforts and provide additional considerations for photovoltaic (PV) systems that will optimize performance and improve efficiency to reduce costs. There are three case studies presented in different locations on the Navajo Nation with varying solar resource and energy load requirements. For each location, an assessment is completed that includes environmental parameters of the site- specific landscape and a system performance analysis of an off-grid residential PV system. The technical process, repeated for each location, demonstrates how the variance and uniqueness of each household can impact the system requirements after optimizations are applied. Therefore, the household variabilities and differencemore » in locations must be considered. The differing results of each case study suggests additional analysis is needed for designing small-scale PV systems that takes a home-land-family specific approach to allow for better efficiency and more flexibility for future solar innovations to be considered for overall cost reductions. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to acknowledge all who helped develop my research and contributed to my growth in the renewable energy field. Thank you to the U.S. Department of Energy for financially supporting the Indian Energy Internship Program at Sandia National Laboratories. I also greatly appreciate Sandia National Laboratories and all the professionals. I also want to thank all the Native professionals at Sandia under the American Indian Outreach Committee for being very welcoming and I enjoyed being surrounded by that amount of Native excellence. The greatest support I received was from our internship mentors at Sandia, Stan Atcitty, Julius Yellowhair, Gepetta Billie, and Dylan Moriarty. The Navajo Tribal Utility Authority (NTUA) provided a great base model in their rural electrification program. Derrick Terry, an NTUA renewable energy specialist, was a great resource to have. I also want to thank the numerous Native owned companies and the Natives involved in renewable energy programs I reached out to who were excited to share their experiences working on their projects: Brett Isaac of Navajo Power, Suzanne Singer of Native Renewables, Adam Bad Wound of the Tribal Accelerator Fund, and Gina Willetto of Gallup Solar. I also received technical support for Berlin Hubler of GRID Alternatives and program history from Be Sargent of Gallup Solar. I want to acknowledge the Natives in renewables working to address this planning aspect. My last acknowledgement if for the Native women that have been leading the renewable deployments on Native lands and other sustainable community practices. This includes the women at the forefront of advocacy groups protecting Native lands, the women in the technical field developing their own projects, and the women growing their own capacity through their education. Thank you to everyone who I was able to meet through this internship experience. Every conversation I had helped me grow in this field and my overall understanding of providing choice to Native communities to determine their own sustainable futures. Ahehee'« less

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Under Secretary (US)
OSTI Identifier:
1599703
Report Number(s):
SAND2020-1322
683718
DOE Contract Number:  
AC04-94AL85000
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English

Citation Formats

Singer, Callie. Sizing Small-Scale Renewable Energy Systems for the Navajo Nation and Rural Communities.. United States: N. p., 2020. Web. doi:10.2172/1599703.
Singer, Callie. Sizing Small-Scale Renewable Energy Systems for the Navajo Nation and Rural Communities.. United States. doi:10.2172/1599703.
Singer, Callie. Wed . "Sizing Small-Scale Renewable Energy Systems for the Navajo Nation and Rural Communities.". United States. doi:10.2172/1599703. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1599703.
@article{osti_1599703,
title = {Sizing Small-Scale Renewable Energy Systems for the Navajo Nation and Rural Communities.},
author = {Singer, Callie},
abstractNote = {The Navajo Nation consists of about 55,000 residential homes spread across 27,000 square miles of trust land in the Southwest region of the United States. The Navajo Tribal Utility Authority (NTUA) reports that approximately 15,000 homes on the reservation do not have electricity due to the high costs of connecting rural homes located miles from utility distribution lines. In order to get these rural homeowners access electricity, NTUA and other Native owned companies are examining small-scale renewable energy systems to provide power for necessary usage such as lighting and refrigeration. The goal of this study is to evaluate the current renewable deployment efforts and provide additional considerations for photovoltaic (PV) systems that will optimize performance and improve efficiency to reduce costs. There are three case studies presented in different locations on the Navajo Nation with varying solar resource and energy load requirements. For each location, an assessment is completed that includes environmental parameters of the site- specific landscape and a system performance analysis of an off-grid residential PV system. The technical process, repeated for each location, demonstrates how the variance and uniqueness of each household can impact the system requirements after optimizations are applied. Therefore, the household variabilities and difference in locations must be considered. The differing results of each case study suggests additional analysis is needed for designing small-scale PV systems that takes a home-land-family specific approach to allow for better efficiency and more flexibility for future solar innovations to be considered for overall cost reductions. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to acknowledge all who helped develop my research and contributed to my growth in the renewable energy field. Thank you to the U.S. Department of Energy for financially supporting the Indian Energy Internship Program at Sandia National Laboratories. I also greatly appreciate Sandia National Laboratories and all the professionals. I also want to thank all the Native professionals at Sandia under the American Indian Outreach Committee for being very welcoming and I enjoyed being surrounded by that amount of Native excellence. The greatest support I received was from our internship mentors at Sandia, Stan Atcitty, Julius Yellowhair, Gepetta Billie, and Dylan Moriarty. The Navajo Tribal Utility Authority (NTUA) provided a great base model in their rural electrification program. Derrick Terry, an NTUA renewable energy specialist, was a great resource to have. I also want to thank the numerous Native owned companies and the Natives involved in renewable energy programs I reached out to who were excited to share their experiences working on their projects: Brett Isaac of Navajo Power, Suzanne Singer of Native Renewables, Adam Bad Wound of the Tribal Accelerator Fund, and Gina Willetto of Gallup Solar. I also received technical support for Berlin Hubler of GRID Alternatives and program history from Be Sargent of Gallup Solar. I want to acknowledge the Natives in renewables working to address this planning aspect. My last acknowledgement if for the Native women that have been leading the renewable deployments on Native lands and other sustainable community practices. This includes the women at the forefront of advocacy groups protecting Native lands, the women in the technical field developing their own projects, and the women growing their own capacity through their education. Thank you to everyone who I was able to meet through this internship experience. Every conversation I had helped me grow in this field and my overall understanding of providing choice to Native communities to determine their own sustainable futures. Ahehee'},
doi = {10.2172/1599703},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2020},
month = {1}
}