Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced up to $11.5 million in new funding to deploy energy infrastructure on tribal lands. This funding through the Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs will support Native American and Alaska Native communities interested in harnessing their vast undeveloped energy resources.
This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) builds on efforts to strengthen tribal energy, economic infrastructure resource development, and electrification on tribal lands. This is also the first time that the Office of Indian Energy is issuing a FOA on an entirely fuel and technology neutral basis. This will expand the potential for tribes to use the particular resources available to them and is consistent not only with an all-of-the above energy policy, but also with the principles of tribal sovereignty and self-determination.
Tribal lands comprise only 2% of U.S. land, but contain about 5% of all the country’s renewable energy resources, almost 30% of the coal reserves west of the Mississippi, 50% of potential uranium reserves, and 20% of known oil and gas reserves. Yet 86% of Indian lands with energy or mineral potential remain untapped, as social and economic barriers have historically limited energy and infrastructure development on tribal lands.
This funding opportunity will address these gaps and barriers by soliciting and selecting applications from Indian Tribes, which include Alaska Native Regional Corporations and Village Corporations, and Tribal Energy Resource Development Organizations in the following areas:
- Topic Area 1: Install energy efficiency measures and/or energy generating systems for tribal buildings that may include deep energy retrofits, energy generating systems, or a combination of energy efficiency measures.
- Topic Area 2: Deploy community-scale energy generating systems on tribal lands to provide electricity to a substantial number of buildings or even an entire tribal community.
- Topic Area 3: Install energy systems for autonomous operation to power single or multiple essential tribal loads during emergency situations, or to power a substantial number of essential tribal loads for community resilience.
Selected projects will take on a 50% cost-share in order to reduce or stabilize energy costs, as well as increase energy security and resilience for Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages.
For additional details, read the full press release. Download the full FOA. An informational webinar will be held Feb. 27, 2018, to provide potential applicants with more information. See the Office of Indian Energy website for a map and summaries of these competitively funded projects.
Applications are due April 19, 2018.