Funding, Technical Assistance and Renewable Energy Credits

Here you'll find information on technical assistance, funding, and renewable energy credits for tribal energy projects from a variety of U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and federal government programs. To explore current opportunities available to tribes, click on the titles of the solicitations in the table below.

Opportunity Close Date
NRCS Conservation Innovation Grants

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Kansas is announcing availability of Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies. NRCS anticipates that the amount available for support of this program in FY 2015 will be up to $100,000. Proposals are requested from eligible governmental or nongovernmental organizations or individuals for competitive consideration of grant awards for projects between one and three years in duration. The purpose of CIG is to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies, while leveraging the Federal investment in environmental enhancement and protection in conjunction with agricultural production. CIG projects are expected to lead to the transfer of conservation technologies, management systems, and innovative approaches (such as market-based systems) into NRCS technical manuals and guides or to the private sector. CIG is used to apply or demonstrate previously proven technology in order to increase adoption with an emphasis on opportunities to scale proven, emerging conservation strategies. CIG promotes sharing of skills, knowledge, technologies, and facilities among communities, governments, and other institutions to ensure that scientific and technological developments are accessible to a wider range of users. CIG funds projects targeting innovative on-the-ground conservation, including pilot projects and field demonstrations. CIG does not fund research projects, with the exception of on-farm conservation research. On-farm conservation research is defined as an investigation conducted to answer a specified conservation-related question using a statistically valid design, while employing farm-scale equipment on farm fields. Specifically, a valid study design will use an appropriate number of replications and statistical analysis of results. To the extent NRCS funds research projects through CIG, the agency will only fund research projects that stimulate innovative approaches to natural resource management in conjunction with agricultural production.

Soboba Solar Project Request for Proposals

The Tribal Council for the Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians (Soboba) is accepting applications for its request for proposals to design, engineer, procure, construct, and, potentially, supply tax partners for a solar photovoltaic electric power generating, ground mounted system, not to exceed 1.12 MW DC in capacity. Soboba will finance the project through a U.S. Department of Energy Tribal Energy Program grant, as well as its own funds. The project is designed to help Soboba advance its environmental and energy goals. Written, sealed proposals must be submitted to Soboba Administration Building, Attn: Michael Castello, 23906 Soboba Rd., San Jacino, CA 92583.

Funders' Network Partners for Places

The Partners for Places grant-matching program creates opportunities for cities and counties in the United States and Canada to improve communities by building partnerships between local government sustainability offices and place-based foundations.
National funders invest in local projects to promote a healthy environment, a strong economy, and well-being of all residents. Through these projects, Partners for Places fosters long-term relationships that make our urban areas more prosperous, livable, and vibrant. The grant program will provide partnership investments between $25,000 and $75,000 for one-year projects, or $50,000 and $150,000 for two-year projects, with a 1:1 match required by one or more local foundations. Eligible entities include federally recognized tribal governments and tribal organizations, city governments, and county governments.

DOE Solar Training and Education for Professionals

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Training and Education for Professionals (STEP) funding opportunity will support many activities in solar training and education. It will ensure that solar instructors are well connected to solar employers, the Solar Training Network materials are up-to-date, and veterans are connected to solar training institutions. Eligible applicants include small businesses, state governments, federally recognized tribal governments and tribal organizations, city governments, county governments and nonprofits.

DOE Alternative Fuel and Advanced Vehicle Procurement Aggregating Initiatives

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is accepting applications to develop and implement an effective purchasing and procurement process designed to coordinate and consolidate bulk orders of alternative fuel vehicles, subcomponents, advanced vehicle technologies, alternative fuels, and refueling and charging infrastructure to significantly reduce the incremental cost of commercially available vehicles and an associated reduction in reduced United States dependence on foreign oil.

Southern California Edison RFP

Southern California Edison issued a request for proposals (RFP) seeking proposals to a total of 104.8 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy to meet the state requirements for broader use of energy sources, with 54.8 MW meeting the utility's Renewable Auction Mechanism (RAM) procurement targets. The utility is also seeking 50 MW of solar resources to support the launch of its Green Rate program, which is part of the Green Tariff Shared Renewables program.

Northern States Power Company RFP

Northern States Power Company is issuing a request for proposals (RFP) seeking to acquire up to 3 MW of photovoltaic solar generation resources from projects having a maximum capacity of 1 MW. The power purchase agreement term shall be 25 years. The resources are being sought to provide energy for the SolarConnect Community program, a community solar garden pilot program. Please contact with any questions.

FEMA Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant Program

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA’s) Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant Program is designed to assist eligible entities in implementing a sustained pre-disaster natural hazard mitigation program. The goal is to reduce overall risk to the population and structures from future hazard events, while also reducing reliance on federal funding in future disasters. This program awards planning and project grants and provides opportunities for raising public awareness about reducing future losses before disaster strikes. Eligible entities include state governments, federally recognized tribal governments and tribal organizations, city governments, county governments, and nonprofits.

Dairyland Power Cooperative RFP for Solar Energy

Dairyland Power Cooperative has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for up to 25 MW of renewable energy from one or more utility-scale photovoltaic solar facilities. Responses to the RFP are due by 2 p.m. Central Daylight Time. 

Green Business Development in Indian Country Start-Up Award

Trees, Water, & People is accepting applications for the Green Business in Indian Country Start-Up Award and offering assistance to one selected applicant in starting their own business in a related field. The winning applicant will receive the following benefits from Trees, Water, & People: 

  • Crowd-funding campaign on your business' behalf
  • Request to Trees, Water, & People's donors to contribute to your start-up company
  • Technical Assistance.
The amount will be entirely dependent upon the donations Trees, Water, & People receive, but may be up to $20,000. Eligible applicants are Native Americans who are starting their own renewable energy and/or energy efficiency related business.

IRS Clean Renewable Energy Bonds
The Internal Review Service (IRS) is accepting applications for a volume cap of up to $800 million to finance the costs of a qualified renewable energy facility or facilities, such as wind, closed- or open-loop biomass, geothermal, solar, small irrigation, and other facilities. The application must indicate the expected date of construction and when each facility will be placed in service. Eligible applicants include governmental bodies, including Tribes, and cooperative electric companies.

USDA Community Facilities Direct Loan & Grant Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is accepting applications to develop essential community facilities in rural areas. Eligible areas including cities, villages, townships, and towns, including tribal lands, with no more than 20,000 residents. Funds can be used to purchase, construct, and/or improve essential community facilities, purchase equipment, and pay related expenses.

DOE Tribal Energy Program Technical Assistance

The Tribal Energy Program, together with the DOE Office of Indian Energy, provides technical assistance to federally recognized tribes, tribal energy resource development organizations, and other organized tribal groups and communities to advance tribal renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.

Technical experts from DOE, DOE's national laboratories, and others are available to provide up to 40 hours of in-depth support, including strategic energy planning and project development support.

The goal of the technical assistance is to address a specific challenge or fulfill a specific need that is essential to a current project's successful implementation. The intended result is a tangible product or specific deliverable designed to help move the project forward.

Indian Land Tenure Foundation Grants

The Indian Land Tenure Foundation has several grants available for tribes focusing on education, cultural awareness, economic opportunity, or legal reform. The Foundation creates grants to Indian nations and nonprofit organizations, and work closely with several affiliate organizations, who share our mission and goals.

USDA Emergency Community Water Assistance Grants

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is accepting applications to assist rural communities that have experienced a significant decline in quantity or quality of drinking water due to an emergency, or in which such decline is considered imminent, to obtain or maintain adequate quantities of water that meets the standards set by the Safe Drinking Water Act. This emergency is considered an occurrence of an incident such as, but not limited to, a drought, earthquake, flood, tornado, hurricane, disease outbreak, or chemical spill.

DOI Indian Loan Guaranty, Insurance, and Interest Subsidy Program

The U.S. Department of the Interior’s (DOI’s) Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development is accepting loan applications on an ongoing basis through the Indian Loan Guaranty, Insurance, and Interest Subsidy Program. Operated by 12 Bureau of Indian Affairs regional offices cross the country in coordination with the Division of Capital Investment in Washington, D.C., the program is aimed at spurring the development of viable Indian businesses through conventional lender financing. Tribes or individuals simply apply for a loan through any lender that regularly engages in making loans; in cases where the lending institution would not otherwise approve a borrower’s loan application, the lender may apply for a loan guaranty. By helping reduce the risk incurred by lenders, the program helps borrowers secure financing that might otherwise be unavailable. Eligible entities include federally recognized Tribes and Alaska Native groups.p>

NC GreenPower Open RFP for Carbon Offsets and RECs

NC GreenPower is seeking proposals for projects that mitigate greenhouse gases; projects that reduce emissions indirectly from displaced electricity are not eligible. Priority will be given to purchasing carbon offsets from participating utility service territories in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia.

In addition, NC GreenPower is accepting bids for renewable energy credits (RECs) associated with renewable energy generated in North Carolina and supplied to the North Carolina electric grid. These bids provide NC GreenPower with a portfolio of available renewable energy projects to offer to NC GreenPower customers who purchase $15,000 or more annually on renewable energy credits (called a Brokered Bid). This is an ongoing, open-bid process for the Brokered Bid product only and includes any eligible renewable energy project, including large solar PV (over 5.0 kW) and large wind (over 10.0 kW).

HUD ONAP Training and Technical Assistance

The U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Office of Native American Program (ONAP) offers free specialized training and technical assistance for tribal and TDHE grant recipients in areas related to Indian housing programs, administration & management, development, and financing. Tribes or TDHE’s are encouraged to formally request training and technical assistance on a particular need by contacting Lisa Stewart at, or 206-220-6166.

USDA Biomass Crop Assistance Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) incentives will resume this summer. The incentives will assist farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners with growing, maintaining, and harvesting biomass that can be used for energy or bio-based products. Farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners can also receive financial assistance to grow biomass crops that will be converted into energy in selected BCAP project areas. New BCAP project area proposals will be solicited beginning this summer and accepted through fall 2015, with new project area announcements and enrollments taking place in early spring 2016. Once the call for solicitations is announced, Tribes will need to review the eligibility to ensure they qualify.

DOE Deployment of Clean Energy and Energy Efficiency on Indian Lands

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs (Office of Indian Energy) intends to issue a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) entitled “Deployment of Clean Energy and Energy Efficiency Projects on Indian Lands.” Through this planned FOA, DOE continues its efforts to promote tribal energy sufficiency and spur increased deployment of clean energy and energy efficiency projects on Indian lands.

In support of the office’s objectives, the DOE Office of Indian Energy intends to solicit applications from Indian Tribes (including Alaska Native regional and village corporations), tribal energy resource development organizations, and tribal consortia to:

(1) Install clean energy and energy efficiency retrofit projects for tribal buildings (Area of Interest 1); and

(2) Deploy clean energy systems on a community scale (Area of Interest 2).

Under the planned FOA, the DOE Office of Indian Energy will only consider applications from an eligible Indian Tribe (including Alaska Native regional corporations and village corporations), tribal energy resource development organization, or tribal consortium (group or organization, one of which is an eligible Indian Tribe that submits the application on behalf of the consortium) on whose Indian land the project will be located. Applications from a consortium of Indian Tribes will be accepted but must be submitted by a single Indian Tribe acting as the applicant representing the consortium. Applications may also be submitted on behalf of an Indian Tribe(s) by an authorized tribal organization or inter-tribal organization, provided evidence of that authority is supplied as part of the application.

A Tribal Council Resolution from each participating Indian Tribe, declaration (or resolution) from each tribal energy resource development organization or tribal consortium, and a letter of commitment from all other project participants will be required as a part of the application. If an application is being submitted on behalf of an Indian Tribe(s) by an authorized tribal organization or inter-tribal organization, evidence of that authority will be required as part of the application, along with a declaration (or resolution) from the tribal organization or inter-tribal organization, and a letter of commitment from all other project participants. All resolutions, declarations, and letters of commitment must be specific to the FOA and must include any cost-sharing commitments.

The purpose of this Notice of Intent (NOI) is to provide potential applicants advance notice that the DOE Office of Indian Energy, on behalf of the DOE, intends to issue an FOA titled, "DE-FOA-0001390 - Deployment of Clean Energy and Energy Efficiency Projects on Indian Lands." NO APPLICATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED THROUGH THIS NOTICE. Please do not submit questions or respond to this NOI. DOE plans to issue the FOA in or around the last calendar quarter in 2015.

Other Tools and Resources for Tribal Energy Development

For information on federal, state, and utility energy efficiency and renewable energy incentives, and local policies on interconnection and net metering, see the DOE-funded database of state incentives for renewables and efficiency (DSIRE). Established in 1995, DSIRE is the most comprehensive source of information related to policies and incentives that support the nation's use of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.

For an efficient and convenient method of identifying and accessing all relevant federal government grant, loan, and technical assistance opportunities, see the Federal Energy Development Assistance Tool or visit the following agency Web pages:

U.S. Department of Agriculture

See information on Rural Business Development Grants.

U.S. Department of Commerce

For funding opportunities, see the Economic Development Administration website.

U.S. Department of Energy

For funding opportunities through the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), see EERE Financial Opportunities. For information on how to apply and the process EERE uses to evaluate applications, see New EERE Applicants.

The DOE Weatherization Assistance Program has funds to improve the energy performance of dwellings of low-income families using the most advanced technologies.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

See Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Tribal Agencies. If your tribe is not a LIHEAP tribal grantee, you may need to contact your state agency for assistance.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

See information on grants for Indian housing and community development.

U.S. Department of the Interior – Bureau of Indian Affairs

See information on the Division of Energy and Mineral Development's Tribal Grant Program and for environmental resources for tribal energy development, see the Tribal Energy and environmental Information Clearinghouse.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

From the American Indian Environmental Office, see the Tribal Portal for information on grants and funding.