Schatz Energy Research Center

Yurok Wind and Hydro Feasibility Study Update

Yurok Stream Flow Monitoring
HSU graduate student Jenny Tracy and Yurok Tribe Planner Austin Nova measure stream flow at Pecwan Creek. (Photo credit SERC).

SERC is working with the Yurok Tribe to examine the feasibility of developing hydro and wind power resources on the Yurok Reservation. SERC and Yurok Tribe staff recently installed gauging stations on Ke’Pel and Pecwan Creeks. These stations provide continuous monitoring of stream elevation. Periodically we visit the sites and measure stream flow. We will use this information to develop stage-discharge curves for the two creeks. The stage-discharge curves will allow us to convert the continuous stream elevation data into flow data. We are also installing rain gauges at each site. We plan to use precipitation data to help us correlate the data for these two streams with other streams in the area for which there are long-term stream flow and precipitation data records.

This spring we will also be installing a wind monitoring tower on McKinnon Hill. The Tribe has obtained a 50-meter meteorological tower from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Native American Anemometer Loan Program. It will be used to collect wind speed and direction data for a period of one year. We will attempt to correlate the McKinnon Hill data with long-term wind speed data from nearby locations. By the spring of 2010 we expect to have sufficient data to complete our feasibility analyses, including an examination of the technical potential for wind and hydroelectric power production, as well as an assessment of the economic feasibility of such projects.

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