The Energy Department today announced up to $7 million to deploy clean energy and energy efficiency projects in tribal communities, reducing reliance on fossil fuel, and promoting economic development. The Tribal Energy Program, in cooperation with the Department's Office of Indian Energy, will help Native American tribes, tribal energy resource development organizations, and tribal consortia to install community- or facility-scale clean energy and energy efficiency projects.
Tribal lands comprise nearly 2% of U.S. land, but contain about 5% of all 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 their abundant domestic renewable energy resources, enhancing U.S. energy security and protecting the environment.
The Funding Opportunity Announcement is soliciting applications under two topic areas:
- Tribal Building Clean Energy and Energy Efficiency Retrofits (Topic Area 1)
- Community-Scale Clean Energy Deployment (Topic Area 2).
Under Topic Area 1, "Tribal Building Clean Energy and Energy Efficiency Retrofits," the department is soliciting projects to install facility-scale clean energy (natural gas combined heat and power systems and renewable energy) systems to displace electrical, heating, or cooling loads by at least 15%. Also included are deep energy retrofits that reduce the total of all energy used in a building or buildings by at least 20%.
Under Topic Area 2, "Community-Scale Clean Energy Deployment," the department is soliciting projects to install clean energy systems that can provide electricity, heating, or cooling to many buildings or to an entire tribal community. Clean energy systems need to generate a minimum of 50 kilowatts of power (or equivalent) and use commercially-warrantied technology.
Cost-shared projects selected under this funding announcement are intended to result in immediate cost savings, reduce energy use, and increase energy security for Indian Tribes and tribal members.
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.
Since 2002, the Department has invested nearly $50 million in 184 tribal clean energy projects, 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.