Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs

Energy Department to Fund 19 Indian Tribes to Take the First Steps Toward Developing Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency on Tribal Lands

May 30, 2017

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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs announced funding today for 19 Indian tribes to take the first steps toward developing and sustaining renewable energy and energy efficiency on tribal lands.

Through these grants, the Office of Indian Energy will continue its efforts to maximize the development and deployment of energy solutions for the benefit of American Indians and Alaska Natives and help build the knowledge, skills, and resources needed to implement those energy solutions. Under these awards, these Native American communities will conduct energy options analyses; establish baseline energy use and efficiency options; develop energy organizations; conduct resiliency planning; establish policy, regulations, and codes; and obtain skills and training to promote energy efficiency and development. These selections for award are the result of a competitive funding opportunity announced August 17, 2016.

“Within every challenge can be found the seeds of opportunity, and I believe tribes are well positioned to cultivate these seeds through visionary leadership and strategic energy planning,” said William Bradford, Director of the Office of Indian Energy. “Our hope is that by funding these initial steps, the foundation will be laid for these Indian tribes to find energy solutions that work for their communities.”

The Office of Indian Energy promotes tribal energy development and fosters economic growth and employment on tribal lands by providing tribal communities with the technical knowledge, skills, and resources needed to harness their indigenous energy resources, reduce their energy costs, create jobs, build resilience, and implement successful strategic energy solutions. Since 2002, DOE has invested more than $66.5 million in 217 tribal energy projects valued at more than $126 million, provided technical assistance to Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages for the evaluation and development of their energy resources, and provided education and training to help build the human capacity essential for successful and sustainable energy projects.

The projects competitively selected to receive funding today in alphabetical order are as follows:

Tribe Location Project Description Funding
Akiachak Native Community Akiachak, AK Akiachak Native Community has been committed to adopting the best ecological practices for the community for hundreds of years, with energy efficiency and conservation being a priority. This project will produce an energy plan to develop and implement solutions to minimize energy use and maximize energy savings in tribal buildings. Requested DOE funding: $130,793; proposed tribal cost share: $15,227
Bear River Band of Rohnerville Rancheria Loleta, CA The Bear River Band of Rohnerville Rancheria (BRB) will develop an analysis of renewable energy options that focus on BRB’s strategic vision of “zero net annual utility energy consumption.” The project will provide an analysis of demand-side options that reduce energy consumption and optimize the hourly and seasonal load profile of BRB’s residential and commercial properties, as well as an evaluation of local and commercial supply-side options that will address conventional and nonconventional sources with a focus on renewable energy opportunities. This comprehensive analysis will result in a thorough understanding of BRB’s tribal energy resources and tribal energy loads, including current and future energy consumption. Requested DOE funding: $180,000; proposed tribal cost share: $20,000
Bishop Paiute Tribe Bishop, CA The Bishop Paiute Tribe Youth Solar Job Training Development project will provide opportunities for young adults to become familiar with jobs in the solar industry; increase knowledge of basic skills required for employment in the solar industry, including eligibility requirements for the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners Solar Installer Exam; and begin to develop a workforce capable of assisting the Tribe in future solar installations. The project will include workshop training, hands-on internships, and a SolarCorps Construction Fellowship. Requested DOE funding: $147,566; proposed tribal cost share: $16,396
Forest County Potawatomi Community Crandon, WI The Forest County Potawatomi Community will develop residential energy usage baselines and energy options for homes within the Tribe’s communities of Stone Lake, Carter, and Blackwell. The Tribe will establish baseline energy usage for all Reservation homes, as well as conduct home energy audits for 90–100 tribal residences. These assessments will serve as another important step toward fulfilling the Tribe’s energy mission of achieving 100% carbon-neutral energy independence. Requested DOE funding: $146,419; proposed tribal cost share: $16,269
Karuk Tribe Happy Camp, CA The Karuk Tribe has outlined how extreme weather events have created landscape conditions that could potentially be devastating in the event of future high-severity fires. This project will create a resiliency plan for the Tribe and use it to refine the Karuk Department of Natural Resources Strategic Plan. The goal is to develop adaptive land management strategies that promote interagency collaboration and reflect tribal needs as the Mid Klamath region responds to the demands of extreme weather events. Requested DOE funding: $167,064; proposed tribal cost share: $18,590
Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians Lac du Flambeau, WI This project will create a comprehensive resiliency plan and increase the capacity of all Lac du Flambeau tribal program managers to incorporate resiliency thinking into the everyday management of their departments. This will be accomplished by incorporating planning into the Tribe’s current Integrated Resource Management Plan and Emergency Management Plan, and using the Tribe's Strategic Energy Plan as guidance throughout the process. Requested DOE funding: $194,995; proposed tribal cost share: $49,392
Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Cass Lake, MN The Leech Lake Band intends to pursue an energy savings performance contract through an energy service company. To fully understand which energy conservation measures to pursue, the Band will perform an investment-grade audit on 22 tribal government buildings. Savings of nearly 40% of energy costs, which equates to more than $800,000 in annual savings, have been identified through the benchmarking of 74 tribal buildings. This project will move the Band one step further toward realizing those benchmarked savings. Requested DOE funding: $78,957; proposed tribal cost share: $7,896

Makah Tribe

Neah Bay, WA The Makah Tribe aims to enhance its resilience by incorporating tribal members’ concerns and knowledge into a resiliency plan, completing this plan, conducting baseline assessments of the Tribe’s carbon footprint, and implementing steps to decrease that footprint. Requested DOE funding: $221,266; proposed tribal cost share: $27,810
Native Village of Atmautluak Atmautluak, AK The Native Village of Atmautluak will establish baseline energy use in tribal community buildings in order to set energy efficiency improvement goals as well as provide a benchmark for evaluating future efforts to reduce and stabilize energy costs. Requested DOE funding: $130,395; proposed tribal cost share $14,780
Native Village of Kwigillingok Kwigillingok, AK The Native Village of Kwigillingok will establish baseline energy use in tribal community buildings in order to set energy efficiency improvement goals as well as provide a benchmark for evaluating future efforts to reduce and stabilize energy costs. The end product will be an Energy Action Plan that prioritizes the actions to be taken and establishes a timeline for implementation. Requested DOE funding: $127,785; proposed tribal cost share $14,336
Oneida Indian Nation Oneida, NY The Oneida Indian Nation Energy Master Planning Project will conduct a baseline energy analysis of all Nation properties and facilities in order to: (1) establish a system for setting energy efficiency improvement goals; (2) develop an evaluation tool to assist with future comparison of energy usage; and (3) provide a comprehensive analysis of energy consumption to enable the development of a plan that will reduce energy use, increase energy efficiency in tribal buildings, and increase available funding to meet the Nation’s economic and environmental priorities. Requested DOE funding: $154,000; proposed tribal cost share: $17,144
Pala Band of Mission Indians Pala, CA The Pala Band of Mission Indians will conduct a comprehensive analysis of its supply-side and demand-side energy options, including all sectors, activities, and lands within the Pala Reservation. The final product will be the Pala Energy Options Report and Implementation Plan, which will include a comprehensive energy options analysis report and a detailed implementation plan that provides a road map to pursue the best options. Requested DOE funding: $67,225; proposed tribal cost share: $7,469
Pascua Yaqui Tribe Tucson, AZ The Pascua Yaqui Tribe will establish its Reservation-wide baseline energy use, conduct energy audits on 12 tribal government buildings and a representative sample of approximately 100 residential housing units, and create the Pascua Yaqui Tribe Energy Efficiency Action Plan. The plan will identify recommended energy efficiency improvements for the Tribe and provide sound recommendations for incorporating energy efficiency into the Tribe’s future infrastructure planning. With the information generated by this project, the Tribe will be positioned to implement the most cost-effective energy conservation measures that will result in significant energy savings while mitigating foreseeable energy cost increases that can be expected in the coming decades. Requested DOE funding: $143,184; proposed tribal cost share: $15,897
Pechanga Band of Luiseño Mission Indians 

Temecula, CA

Over the past five years, the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Mission Indians has performed extensive analysis on its existing electric utility loads, infrastructure, resources, and opportunities, and as a result formed the Pechanga Tribal Utility to provide electric service to the Tribe’s commercial buildings and government center. In the long term, the Tribe aspires to serve its entire Reservation, including the 300 tribal residences on the Reservation, as well as nontribal businesses operating within Reservation boundaries. This project will determine feasibility of serving tribal residences, identify preferred demand-side and supply-side options, and inform business planning for such an expansion. Requested DOE funding: $225,000; proposed tribal cost share: $25,000
Pueblo of Acoma Acoma, NM The Pueblo of Acoma Utility Authority will expand to establish an energy utility department in addition to its existing departments of water and wastewater, solid waste, and public works. Its long-term mission is to provide safe and reliable utility services to the community at an affordable cost, while promoting conservation and efficiency. Specifically, this project will develop a transparent structure, rules, and regulations for the energy utility; build human capacity by training and hiring utility managers and staff; and develop a five-year plan for the energy utility and an operations and maintenance plan that includes potential capital expenses. Requested DOE funding: $157,500; proposed tribal cost share $17,500
Samish Indian Nation Anacortes, WA The Samish Indian Nation will address the issues of extreme weather hazards by creating a resiliency plan, building on the successes of a Bureau of Indian Affairs funded capacity-building project that aimed to prepare the Tribe for resiliency adaptation planning. The plan will be based on community values and the best available science, and will be integrated into planning documents across all tribal programs. Requested DOE funding: $150,652; proposed tribal cost share $16,878
San Manuel Band of Mission Indians

Highland, CA

The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians received a power allocation from the Western Area Power Administration (WAPA). Based on this new opportunity, as well as limited capacity issues, the Tribe initiated efforts to evaluate the feasibility of creating its own utility to maximize the WAPA benefit to the Tribe and to look at other sustainable energy solutions for the benefit of its people. This project will allow the Tribe to navigate the many legal and regulatory requirements involved in setting up a tribal utility organization, provide training for tribal staff, and hire a full-time manager to oversee the new energy organization. Requested DOE funding: $250,000; proposed tribal cost share: $100,000
Village of Aniak Aniak, AK The Village of Aniak will establish baseline energy use in tribal community buildings in order to set energy efficiency improvement goals as well as provide a benchmark for evaluating future efforts. The end product will be an Energy Action Plan that prioritizes actions to be taken and establishes a timeline for implementation. Requested DOE funding: $129,695; proposed tribal cost share $14,452
Yurok Tribe of the Yurok Reservation, California  Klamath, CA The Yurok Tribe will produce a Strategic Energy Action Plan that includes an implementation strategy and a prioritized list of energy projects. The plan will be used as a roadmap for the Tribe to increase its energy efficiency, independence, and resilience; develop local renewable energy generation potential; reduce energy costs; and meet energy needs on the Yurok Reservation. Requested DOE funding: $180,001; proposed tribal cost share $20,769

 

Amounts shown are subject to negotiation.

To learn about highlights of DOE's recent investments in tribal communities, visit the Office of Indian Energy's project successes page.