Skip to Main Content

Tamástslikt Cultural Institute adds wind generation to sustainability efforts

Dedication ceremony held today; Tamástslikt one step closer to net zero with help from Energy Trust of Oregon and Pacific Power’s Blue Sky customers

PENDLETON, Ore. — May 8, 2014 — Today the Tamástslikt Cultural Institute dedicated its new 50-kilowatt Endurance E-3120 wind turbine, 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 to date.

“Our approach has always been to do energy conservation first, then implement renewable energy projects,” said Jess Nowland, assistant facilities manager, Tamástslikt. “Reduce the use, renew the rest.”

The new turbine — the first of its kind in Oregon and the only wind turbine on a reservation in the Pacific Northwest — 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 SkySM renewable energy program. About 51,000 Pacific Power customers currently participate in the voluntary Blue Sky program across Oregon, Washington and California.

“The project sets a great example for the community by making a visible commitment to renewable energy, increasing awareness about the region’s developing wind resource and reducing Tamástslikt’s operating costs,” said Bill Clemens, regional community manager, Pacific Power. “This will be one of the first things visitors will see when they come from the east. It’s a great compliment to the community and our Blue Sky customers, who helped make it possible.”

Ceremony guests viewed a demonstration of the turbine’s control panel from the electrician who installed the turbine, Energy Trust trade ally Jonathan Lewis of Hire Electric, and were among the first to see the new energy information kiosk displaying real-time wind turbine generation. The turbine is a valuable educational tool for Tamástslikt visitors, especially for the school

children who often visit to learn about tribal culture and values.

“By harnessing wind energy, the Tamástslikt Cultural Institute and the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla continue their investment and commitment to conservation and sustainability,” said Thad Roth, renewable energy sector lead, Energy Trust. “We are proud to be a part of the team, offering incentives, technical assistance and connections to local contractors, to support the vision of a net-zero facility meeting the needs of tribal members and visitors.”


TAMÁSTSLIKT: Tamástslikt Cultural Institute tells the story of three American Indian Tribes, the Cayuse, Umatilla and Walla Walla, who for more than 10,000 years have inhabited the Plateau region of the Pacific Northwest. Owned and operated by the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, Tamástslikt brings their story alive with a 14,000 square foot exhibit space that incorporates artifacts, photography, video and interactive multi-media displays, and world class exhibits. For more information, visit or call 541.429.7700.

BLUE SKY: The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has ranked Blue Sky fifth or better in the nation for the ninth consecutive year in the number of customers buying renewable power and for renewable power sales volume. The program is Green-e Energy certified, which means the renewable energy supported meets the rigorous national environmental and consumer-protection standards established by the nonprofit Center for Resource Solutions. About 51,000 Pacific Power customers currently participate in the Blue Sky program across Oregon, Washington and California. For more information, visit

PACIFIC POWER: Pacific Power provides electric service to more than 730,000 customers in Oregon, Washington and California. Our goal is to provide our customers with value for their energy dollar, and safe, reliable electricity. Pacific Power is part of PacifiCorp, one of the lowest-cost electricity producers in the United States, with almost 1.8 million customers in six western states. For more information, visit

Energy Trust of Oregon is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to helping utility customers benefit from saving energy and generating renewable power. Our services, cash incentives and energy solutions have helped participating customers of Portland General Electric, Pacific Power, NW Natural and Cascade Natural Gas save more than $1.3 billion on energy bills. Our work helps keep energy costs as low as possible, creates jobs and builds a sustainable energy future. Learn more at or call 1-866-368-7878.

Category: Renewable Energy