Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation becomes first reservation in Pacific NW to have wind turbine

The Tamástslikt Cultural Institute will dedicate its new 50-kilowatt wind turbine on Thursday.

This is the latest step on Tamástslikt’s path toward creating a net-zero building. Net-zero energy is achieved when energy efficiency and onsite renewable energy generation equal a building’s energy needs over one year.

Over the last decade, Tamástslikt — a nonprofit interpretive center and museum located on the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation in Eastern Oregon — has implemented dramatic energy-saving improvements that have reduced electricity and natural gas usage by 63 percent and 76 percent, respectively, and saved nearly $750,000 in energy costs.

The new turbine — the first of its kind both in Oregon and on a reservation in the Pacific Northwest — is certified by the Small Wind Certification Council and is expected to produce more than 94,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually, or about 20 percent of the green building’s already diminished electricity demand. Tamástslikt estimates that this will add up to approximately $480,000 in energy savings over 30 years.

The wind turbine was made possible by a $170,992 cash incentive from Energy Trust of Oregon and up to $257,372 through a funding award from customers of Pacific Power’s Blue Sky renewable energy program.

A dedication and celebration ceremony will take place Thursday, May 8 at 1 p.m.  The Tamástslikt Cultural Institute is located at 41706 Wildhorse Boulevard in Pendleton.