The Prairie Island Indian Community has a long-term goal of reducing overall energy use while increasing use of renewable energy. Barr’s work for the tribe began with assistance obtaining a grant from the Bureau of Indian Affairs for installing long-term wind monitoring equipment at several sites to evaluate the feasibility of an on-site wind turbine project. In addition to looking at renewable energy options, Barr helped the tribe collect and summarize data on energy use and efficiency, including electricity and propane use at its facilities. This data enabled us to benchmark these facilities' energy efficiency against that of similar facilities, and to access potential efficiency improvements, utility rate-structure options, and landscape-design features for reducing the use of energy and water. With this information as a foundation, we helped the tribe use a BIA Energy Development grant to evaluate its renew-able energy resource options, including feasibility assessments, as well as construction-cost estimates for a wind turbine, a biomass facility, and two types of solar collectors. We then helped the tribe incorporate that information into next steps for its energy plan.
Landscape Architect and Ecologist