Energy Department Announces $7 Million to Promote Clean Energy in Tribal Communities
May 01, 2013
The Energy Department today announced up to $7 million to deploy clean energy projects in tribal communities, reducing reliance on fossil fuels and promoting economic development on tribal lands. The Energy Department's Tribal Energy Program, in cooperation with the Office of Indian Energy, will help Native American communities, tribal energy resource development organizations, and tribal consortia to install community- or facility-scale clean energy projects.
Tribal lands comprise nearly 2% of U.S. land, but contain about 5% of the country's renewable energy resources. With more than 9 million megawatts of potential installed renewable energy capacity on tribal lands, these communities are well positioned to capitalize on our domestic renewable energy resources—thereby enhancing U.S. energy security and protecting our air and water.
Through the "Community-Scale Clean Energy Projects in Indian Country" funding opportunity, the Energy Department will make up to $4.5 million available, subject to congressional appropriations, for projects installing clean energy systems that reduce fossil fuel use by at least 15% in either new or existing tribal buildings. Renewable energy systems for power generation only must be a minimum of 50 kilowatts and use commercial-warrantied equipment.
Through the "Tribal Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Deployment Assistance" funding opportunity, the Department will make up to $2.5 million available, subject to congressional appropriations, for projects installing renewable energy and energy efficiency that reduce fossil fuel use in existing tribal buildings by at least 30%. These projects must use commercial-warrantied equipment with renewable energy systems for power generation only of at least 10 kilowatts. Leveraging state or utility incentive programs is encouraged.
The full funding announcements are also available through the Department's Tribal Energy Program website.
The Energy Department's Office of Indian Energy and the Tribal Energy Program promote tribal energy sufficiency and foster economic development and employment on tribal lands through the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.
The Department has invested $41.8 million in 175 tribal clean energy projects over the years, and provides financial and technical assistance to tribes for the evaluation and development of their renewable energy resources, implementation of energy efficiency to reduce energy use, and education and training to help build the knowledge and skills essential for sustainable energy projects.