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July 16, 2015
Indian Energy Blog Archive

Read Office of Indian Energy blogs.

February 2, 2016
Fort Yukon Gains Heat and Insight with Biomass Project

In 2005, residents of the Native Village of Fort Yukon were seeking a better, less costly way to heat the village’s common buildings and shared water system. At that time, leaders of the 600-person community eight miles north of the Arctic Circle began researching more efficient fuel options than diesel or fuel oil for their village, which is accessible by boat during the summer but only via snowmobiles and airplanes in the winter.

February 2, 2016
Alaska Energy Champion: Karen Johnson

Change doesn’t happen on its own. It’s led by dedicated and passionate people who are championing innovative solutions to Alaska’s energy challenges. Alaska Energy Champions is a regular feature in the Office of Indian Energy's Alaska Energy Pioneer newsletter that spotlights pioneers of Alaska’s new energy frontier. This issue features Karen Johnson, program manager at the Denali Commission.

January 19, 2016
Photo by Deb Lastowka, NREL.
Winning the Future: Tonto Apache Tribe Uses DOE Funding to Gain Momentum on Solar Energy Development

The Tonto Apache Tribe in Payson, Arizona, undertook a decades-long reservation infrastructure development effort that is still ongoing. In 2004, the small tribe was still actively looking for ways to fulfill its long-term vision, which is focused on sustainability and residential growth.

December 21, 2015
New Energy Department competition to help rural Alaskan communities save energy and fight climate change. | Graphic by <a href="/node/1332956">Carly Wilkins</a>, Energy Department
Working with Alaska to Reduce Energy Use and #ActOnClimate

New Energy Department competition to help rural Alaskan communities save energy and fight climate change.

December 17, 2015
Shishmaref Gets DOE Support on Energy and Climate Resiliency

To say the Alaska Native village of Shishmaref is remote would be an understatement. The traditional Inupiat village sits on a barrier island about 20 miles below the Arctic Circle and the only way in or out is by boat or plane, which involves an hour-long flight from Nome. There’s only one paved road on the island; the rest of the streets are sand and most people get around on ATVs and dirt bikes, or in the winter, snowmobiles.

Challenges:

December 1, 2015
Solar Projects on the Rise for New Mexico’s Picuris and Zia Pueblos

The Picuris Pueblo built its first net zero energy building, a solar-powered fire station and renovated gymnasium with the help of DOE Office of Indian Energy's START Program.

November 5, 2015
President Obama Announces New Advances and Commitments to Support Tribes at White House Tribal Nations Conference

The White House brought together tribal leaders from federally recognized tribes to participate in the 7th Annual White House Tribal Nations Conference on Nov. 5, 2015.

October 28, 2015
Energy-efficient homes in AHA’s Sunrise Acres Complex include such features as rooftop solar domestic hot water. Photo from Akwesasne Housing Authority.
Leading the Charge: Akwesasne Housing Authority Director Retha Herne

Retha Herne is Executive Director of the Akwesasne Housing Authority (AHA) in Hogansburg, New York. With the highest energy costs in the state of New York, the tribe is looking to alternative energy sources to help sustain the community for the long term.

October 22, 2015
Leading the Charge: Doug MacCourt Advises Tribes on Energy Policy

Leading the Charge is a regular feature spotlighting the movers and shakers in energy development on tribal lands.

October 22, 2015
Winning the Future: Navajo-Hopi Land Commission Leverages DOE Grant to Advance Solar Ranch Project

Under the Navajo-Hopi Land Settlement Act of 1974 for the Paragon-Bisti Ranch was set aside for the benefit of Navajo families (relocatees) living on Hopi Partitioned Lands. Now, more than 40 years later, the Navajo Nation is pursuing plans to use those resource-rich lands to cultivate clean, renewable energy.

October 22, 2015
Message from the Director

ChrisDeschene.pngIn May 2015 I began serving as Director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Indian Energy. Since then, I’ve crisscrossed the country visiting American Indian and Alaska Native communities that face a variety of pressing energy challenges.

October 22, 2015
Tribal Energy Summit Tackles Challenges, Explores Opportunities on Path to Economic Sovereignty

More than 450 representatives from tribal and state governments, federal agencies, tribal corporations, private industry, utilities, and academia came together to explore tribal energy development and security issues at the National Tribal Energy Summit: A Path to Economic Sovereignty, held Sept. 23–25, 2015, in Washington, D.C.

October 16, 2015
Indian Country Energy Roundup: FY15 Year in Review

Over the past year, DOE Office of Indian Energy staff have traveled throughout the contiguous United States and Alaska to help build capacity, deliver energy project technical assistance, and provide information sharing opportunities to tribal communities.

October 7, 2015
Gwitchyaa Zhee Gwich’in Tribal Government Counteracts High Energy Costs, Climate Challenges with Building Energy Retrofits

Seeking to reduce its reliance on imported diesel fuel and to lower operating costs, increase quality of life, and serve as a model of self-sufficiency for local youth and surrounding communities, Gwitchyaa Zhee Gwich’in Tribe applied for and was awarded a $125,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Tribal Energy Program to supplement the tribe’s investment in a quarter-million-dollar energy efficiency and renewable energy project.

September 16, 2015
Through the Energy Department's Climate Action Champions initiative, cities like Boston and Minneapolis have identified ways to reduce their carbon footprint by as much as 80 percent by 2050.
Running the Race for Clean Energy

Cities like Boston and Minneapolis have identified ways to reduce their carbon footprint by as much as 80 percent by 2050.

September 16, 2015
The Se̓liš Ksanka Ql̓ispe̓ Dam, located in Polson, Montana, is the first tribal owned hydroelectric facility. Photo by Jami Alley.
Montana Tribes Realize Long-Held Vision of Acquiring Kerr Dam: Interview with Energy Keepers Inc. CEO Brian Lipscomb

A short interview with Brian Lipscomb, president and CEO of Energy Keepers, Inc., a tribal corporation established in the fall of 2012 to manage the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes’ (CSKT’s) planned acquisition of Kerr Dam.

September 4, 2015
President Obama’s Visit to Alaska: Closing Thoughts

President Obama's closing thoughts on his three-day journey in Alaska.

August 4, 2015
Wiehl family fish camp near Rampart Village. Photo by Sherry Stout, NREL.
Rampart Proactively Addresses Expansion Challenges with Strategic Energy Planning

As members of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Indian Energy’s technical assistance team, Sherry Stout and Jared Temanson of DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recently traveled to the Native village of Rampart, Alaska, to fulfill the Tribe’s request for technical assistance with strategic energy planning.

July 9, 2015
Antelope Canyon is a picturesque slot canyon near Chris Deschene's boyhood home in the LeChee Chapter of the Navajo Nation. | <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/airflore/14931030891/in/photostream/">Photo courtesy of Flickr user Airflore.</a>
Q&A with Office of Indian Energy Director Chris Deschene

We interviewed new Office of Indian Energy Director Chris Deschene about his life, goals and years of experience working on tribal energy development.

June 30, 2015
Alaska Native Village to Become a Model for Sustainable Northern Communities

In the tiny Native village of Oscarville, Alaska, state and federal agencies are joining forces to tackle tough challenges that are endemic to rural Alaska: high energy costs, unemployment, the changing climate, deteriorating and inefficient housing, and lack of infrastructure, to name just a few.

June 17, 2015
Solar electric array on an off-grid Najavo home.
NPR Sheds Light on Tribal Energy Challenges and Clean, Affordable Solutions

NPR interviewed Sandra-Begay Campbell, a Navajo tribal member who manages the Tribal Energy Program at DOE’s Sandia National Laboratories, about the technical and financial barriers associated with running transmission lines to remote, sparsely populated areas of Indian reservations.

June 12, 2015
Six photovoltaic arrays generate 32 kilowatts of energy to power 20 units at the Akwesasne Housing Authority’s (AHA) Sunrise Acres housing complex on the St. Regis Mohawk Reservation. Pictured from left to right are Paul Kabotie of Indigenous Collaboration, Inc., Rachel Sullivan of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Cecil Ransom of AHA, Sandra Begay-Campbell of Sandia National Laboratories, and Sheila Loran of AHA. Photo from Lesley Kabotie, Indigenous Collaboration, Inc.
St. Regis Mohawk Tribe Paves the Way to a Sustainable Future; Kicks Off Community Solar Initiative

Rachel Sullivan, Communications Lead for DOE Office of Indian Energy, writes about her experiences at the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe workshop.

June 2, 2015
Utility-scale wind turbines in Kodiak, Alaska. Photo from Kodiak Electric Association, NREL 16795.
Tribes Provide Input on 10-Year Plan for Renewable Energy in the Arctic Region

The DOE Office of Indian Energy hosted a second round of tribal consultations and outreach meetings throughout Alaska in February and March to gather input on the National Strategy for the Arctic Region (NSAR).

June 2, 2015
The Shugnak power plant is one of nearly 30 rural utilities the RUS team is visiting in 2015. Photo from Alaska Center for Energy and Power, NREL 33697.
Resources and Opportunities: 2015 Rural Utilities Study Under Way

Featured article in the Alaska Energy Pioneer Summer 2015 newsletter on the 2015 DOE Rural Utilities Study (RUS).

June 2, 2015
Alaska Native villages and regional and village corporations are eligible for up to 40 hours of strategic energy planning and project development technical assistance designed to advance renewable energy projects. Photo from Intelligent Energy Systems, NREL 29205.
Alaska Energy in Action: Alaska Residents Tapping into Technical Assistance for Energy Projects

Feature article from the Summer 2015 edition of the Alaska Energy Pioneer on DOE's technical assistance requests in Alaska.

August 28, 2013
Thanks to the Energy Department's Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program, the city of Dallas has improved the efficiency of more than 200 city-owned buildings, saving $1 million a year in energy costs. | Photo courtesy of the City of Dallas.
Dallas: Building a Greener City

Learn how Dallas is becoming a leader in sustainability.

July 30, 2013
As a Laboratory Fellow at the Energy Department's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Pete McGrail and his team are working to develop a more efficient adsorption chiller that could help the Navy cut its fuel costs. | Photo courtesy of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
PNNL Helps the Navy Stay Cool and Conserve Fuel

Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are developing a more efficient air conditioner that could help the U.S. military cut its fuel use.

July 29, 2013
Taking Battery Technology from the Lab to the Big City

A small New York City startup is hoping it has the next big solution in energy storage. A video documents what the company's breakthrough means for the future of grid-scale energy storage.

July 17, 2013
Pictured here is Michael Brambley in front of equipment that supplies chilled water to PNNL Building Diagnostics Laboratory's air handler. The cooled air from an air handler is distributed to terminal boxes, which are the last point for controlling air temperature and flow before distributing it throughout a building zone. In a new control strategy for commercial buildings, the terminal boxes would process the information collected by occupancy sensors to control the air handler's fan speed for energy savings. | Photo courtesy of Kristin Nolan, freelancer.
10 Questions for a Mechanical Engineer: Michael Brambley

As a researcher at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Dr. Michael Brambley is working to improve the energy efficiency of our nation’s buildings. In this "10 Questions," learn how he is marrying engineering and computer technology to cut energy waste in commercial buildings.

July 16, 2013
General Leslie Groves and J. Robert Oppenheimer are pictured here at the Trinity Test site in New Mexico, 1945.
New Manhattan Project Resource Page Launched

On the 68th anniversary of the birth of the atomic age, read up on the history of the Manhattan Project through this new resource page.

July 9, 2013
Thanks to funding from the Energy Department's Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program, Ormond Beach was able to make energy efficiency upgrades to 16 city-owned buildings and is now saving more than $45,000 a year on its energy costs. | Photo courtesy of the City of Ormond Beach, Florida.
Ormond Beach Triples Energy Cost Savings Projections

With help from the Energy Department, a Florida city is saving energy and encouraging its residents to do the same.

June 25, 2013
Urban Electric Power Takes Energy Storage from Startup to Grid-Scale

Learn how a New York startup is trying to change the way we store energy.

June 18, 2013
With the help of Kentucky Clean Fuels Coalition, Mammoth Cave National Park was the first National Park fleet to use 100 percent alternative fuel. The Global Electric Motorcar (pictured above) is used by park rangers who need to travel between the Mammoth Cave Campground and the Visitor Center area. | Photo courtesy of Victor Peek Photography.
Transitioning Kentucky Off Oil: An Interview with Clean Cities Coordinator Melissa Howell

As part of the blog series celebrating Clean Cities' 20th anniversary, we interviewed Clean Cities Coordinator Melissa Howell to learn how she is helping transition Kentucky off oil.

May 30, 2013
Waste hauler Enviro Express converted its fleet of heavy-duty trucks to run on liquefied natural gas (LNG) and built the first LNG station east of the Mississippi River with help from the Energy Department's Clean Cities initiative. | Photo courtesy of New Haven Clean Cities Coalition.
Clean Cities Moving Fleets Forward with Liquefied Natural Gas

Learn how local Clean Cities coalitions are helping companies save money on fuel costs and reduce their emissions by switching their fleets to run on liquefied natural gas.