For the last decade, the Tamastslikt Cultural Institute - a nonprofit located on the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation in Pendleton, Oregon - has been on a journey toward creating a net zero building. In 2003, their utility bills totaled more than $100,000/year and they realized they needed to optimize their energy consumption. Since then, Tamastslikt has implemented dramatic energy-saving improvements that reduced electricity and natural gas usage by 63 percent and 76 percent, respectively, and saved nearly $750,000 in energy costs.
A strong believer in reducing the use and renewing the rest, Tamastslik trecently installed a wind turbine, which is being dedicated this Thursday. The turbine (a 169-foot 50-kilowatt Endurance E-3120) is the first of its kind in Oregon and the only on a reservation in the Pacific Northwest. The turbine is expected to produce more than 94,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually, or about 20 percent of the buildings electricity demand. It's estimated that this will add up to about $480,000 in energy savings over 30 years. This wind turbine was supported by a $170,992 incentive from the Energy Trust of Oregon.

Read more: Native wind: A look at the NW's first tribal turbine