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Tribal and Military Leaders Come Together to Talk Renewable Energy

June 12, 2013 - 7:06pm

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The DOE Office of Indian Energy Tribal Leader Forum on "Leveraging Tribal Renewable Resources to Support Military Energy Goals" was held May 30–31 in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo by Brooke Oleen Tieperman, NCSL.

The DOE Office of Indian Energy Tribal Leader Forum on "Leveraging Tribal Renewable Resources to Support Military Energy Goals" was held May 30–31 in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo by Brooke Oleen Tieperman, NCSL.

Attendees included tribal, DOE, and U.S. Department of Defense representatives. Photo by Brooke Oleen Tieperman, NCSL.

Attendees included tribal, DOE, and U.S. Department of Defense representatives. Photo by Brooke Oleen Tieperman, NCSL.

State of New Mexico Secretary of Indian Affairs Arthur Allison speaking at the forum. Photo by Brooke Oleen Tieperman, NCSL.

State of New Mexico Secretary of Indian Affairs Arthur Allison speaking at the forum. Photo by Brooke Oleen Tieperman, NCSL.

National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development CEO Gary Davis speaking at the forum. Photo by Brooke Oleen Tieperman, NCSL.

National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development CEO Gary Davis speaking at the forum. Photo by Brooke Oleen Tieperman, NCSL.

The DOE Office of Indian Energy Tribal Leader Forum on "Leveraging Tribal Renewable Resources to Support Military Energy Goals" was held May 30–31 in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo by Brooke Oleen Tieperman, NCSL.
Attendees included tribal, DOE, and U.S. Department of Defense representatives. Photo by Brooke Oleen Tieperman, NCSL.
State of New Mexico Secretary of Indian Affairs Arthur Allison speaking at the forum. Photo by Brooke Oleen Tieperman, NCSL.
National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development CEO Gary Davis speaking at the forum. Photo by Brooke Oleen Tieperman, NCSL.

The seventh in a series of DOE Office of Indian Energy Tribal Leader Forums was held May 30–31 in Phoenix at the Gila River Community's Wild Horse Pass Hotel and Casino. The event focused on how Tribes can tap in to the great wealth of renewable resources available on tribal lands. Tribal lands make up about 2% of the U.S. land mass but contain an estimated 5% of the nation’s total renewable energy resources and a significant share of total U.S. technical energy generation potential. 

I was pleased to attend the forum and present findings on research I had completed to determine which U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) installations could have an interest purchasing renewable energy from Tribes. This work was completed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory through our work with the DOE Office of Indian Energy.

The forum provided a venue for the 65 attendees, which included tribal, DOE, and DOD representatives, to discuss how to develop those resources with the goal of providing energy to DOD installations that are close to tribal lands. There was a lot of dialogue about how Tribes can work together and the different roles they can play in developing tribal renewable energy projects and selling the power to DOD customers.

Secretary of Indian Affairs for the State of New Mexico Arthur Allison recognized that this is an entrepreneurial opportunity for the Tribes. “Tribes want to be independent,” he said. “We need to get together as Native people to take a look at this energy issue.”  

This is just one of the many DOE Office of Indian Energy activities focused on potential opportunities for Tribes to partner with the military on clean energy. Read the full report on Military Base Off-Taker Opportunities for Tribal Renewable Energy Projects. Also, watch the Department of Defense Contracting Requirements for Energy Procurement webinar (originally recorded on May 15).

The day before the forum, the DOE Office of Indian Energy hosted a quarterly Indian Country Energy and Infrastructure Working Group (ICEIWG) meeting. Tribal leaders and DOE representatives discussed energy-related obstacles, opportunities, and accomplishments to date. Attendees, including the group’s seven new members, also learned about the Blue Lake Distributed Generation Project and current Western Area Power Administration initiatives.
 

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