DoE to Award Over $6 Million for Clean Energy Projects on Tribal Lands

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced 31 tribal energy projects to receive $6.3 million over two years as part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s ongoing efforts to support tribal energy development and continue strengthening the partnership with Tribal Nations. These competitively selected projects will allow Native American Tribes to advance clean energy within their communities by developing strategic energy plans, expanding the skills and knowledge of tribal members, and improving the energy efficiency of their buildings. These investments will help tribal communities to save money and reduce energy waste, expand the use of clean energy technologies, and promote economic development.

"Tribal Nations are well-positioned to take advantage of the benefits of clean energy and energy efficient technologies," said Secretary Chu. "Projects such as these will save energy and money, create long-term clean energy jobs, and spur economic development in tribal communities nationwide."

The more than $6 million in DOE funding will go toward 31 projects selected for negotiation of award in three project areas including over $2.1 million for energy efficiency feasibility studies, over $2.1 million for first-steps projects, and over $2 million for energy efficiency installation projects on tribal lands. DOE announced the availability of funding for these tribal energy projects in January. Another group of projects to receive funding for development and deployment of tribal renewable energy projects will be announced later this summer.

The awards cover the following areas:

$2.17 Million for Feasibility Studies – Nine Tribal projects will receive $2.17 million to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings. By conducting energy assessments to identify cost-effective building upgrades, recipients can develop plans to realize significant savings on their energy bills. When completed, the upgrades identified in the energy assessments could reduce energy use by at least 30 percent in each building.

$2.14 Million for First Steps Planning – Seventeen Tribal energy projects will receive $2.14 million for strategic planning, energy options analysis, energy organization development, and workforce development as the first steps toward a clean energy future. Several of the awardees will develop tribal strategic energy plans, enabling them to evaluate their current energy use and indigenous energy resources. Some of the projects also support the development of tribal energy organizations like utilities, energy offices, tribal committees, or other organizations to implement the selected Tribe’s long-term energy plans and create opportunities for the deployment of clean energy projects. Others projects will help Tribes to explore development and deployment options for energy efficient and renewable technologies. Workforce development projects will provide clean energy training and workshops to tribal staff, leaders, and members, and train and certify tribal members to conduct energy assessments.

$2 Million for Installation Projects – Five projects on tribal lands will receive $2 million for the installation of energy efficient upgrades in their buildings that will help Tribes reduce electricity or heating and cooling costs by 30 percent or more.

These grants are administered by DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), which in coordination with the Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs (IE) under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 Title V authorizations, provides financial and technical assistance to Indian Tribes for the evaluation and development of their energy resources, implementation of energy efficiency to reduce energy use, and provides education and training to help build the knowledge and skills essential for sustainable energy projects. Learn more about EERE’s Tribal Energy Program and DOE’s Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs.