Lummi Nation looks at wind power

A crew installs an anemometer to measure wind on the Lummi reservation
The Lummi Nation is taking a hard look at generating wind energy on the tribe’s reservation.

Initial mapping and observations show that the Lummi Reservation may be a good candidate for installing wind turbines. This winter, the tribe put up two nearly 200-foot-tall anemometer stations to measure wind speeds and direction for a Wind Energy Development Feasibility Assessment Project, funded through a U.S. Department of Energy grant.

“The Lummi Nation has aimed to have self-sufficient energy since at least 1993,” said Merle Jefferson, the tribe’s natural resources director. “Considering global climate change and the need to shift energy generation from hydrocarbons to renewable sources, this study is an important step in planning for the future.”

The study will help determine whether a wind generation project on the reservation would provide enough economic, environmental, cultural, and social benefits to justify the cost of development.

In addition to finding out whether there’s enough wind to generate energy economically , the study will look at the likely wildlife and noise impacts of installing wind turbines, and what could be done to mitigate for those.

“We expect the regional energy demand to grow steadily until at least 2020,” Jefferson said. “Generating wind power could help the Lummi Nation keep up with that demand.”

For more information, visit the Lummi Natural Resources website or contact: Jeremy Freimund, Lummi Nation Water Resources Manager, 360-384-2212 or [email protected]; Kari Neumeyer, NWIFC information officer, 360-424-8226 or [email protected].