Current Funding Opportunities

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Federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Indian Energy, provide grant, loan, and technical assistance programs to support tribal energy projects. Find information about the Office of Indian Energy's past funding opportunities.

DOE Funding Opportunity

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 DOE 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 DOE’s 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 and download the full FOA. An informational webinar will be held Feb. 27, 2018, to provide potential applicants with more information. 

Applications are due April 19.

Current Funding Opportunities

Close Date Organization Opportunity
3/7/2018 HHS

Social and Economic Development Strategies -SEDS

The U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Administration for Native Americans (ANA) announces the availability of Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 funds for the Social and Economic Development Strategies (SEDS) program. This program is focused on community-driven projects designed to grow local economies, strengthen Native American families, including the preservation of Native American cultures, and decrease the high rate of current challenges caused by the lack of community-based businesses, and social and economic infrastructure in Native American communities. Native American communities include American Indian tribes (federally-recognized and non-federally recognized), Native Hawaiians, Alaskan Natives, and Native American Pacific Islanders.

3/15/2018 EPA

Environmental Education Grants

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking grant proposals from eligible applicants to support environmental education projects that promote environmental awareness and stewardship and help provide people with the skills to take responsible actions to protect the environment. This grant program provides financial support for projects that design, demonstrate, and/or disseminate environmental education practices, methods, or techniques. 

Applicants include local education agency, state education or environmental agency, college or university, non-profit organization, tribal education agency, and noncommercial educational broadcasting entity. Applicants must be located in the U.S. or territories.

3/16/2018 Voya Foundation

Voya Foundation Grants

Voya Foundation grants are focused on Financial Resilience. Voya Foundation works to ensure youth are equipped with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) expertise and financial knowledge necessary to compete in the 21st century workforce and make smart financial decisions that lead to a secure retirement. Grants will be awarded in support of K-8 STEM education and 9-12 financial literacy programs.

4/6/2018 NOAA

Environmental Literacy Grants: Supporting the Education of K-12 Students and the Public for Community Resilience

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is accepting applications to support the education of K-12 students and the public so they are knowledgeable of the ways in which their community can become more resilient to extreme weather events and/or other environmental hazards, and become involved in achieving that resilience.

Projects through these grants should build the environmental literacy necessary for communities to become more resilient to extreme weather and other environmental hazards they face. Project topics must relate to NOAA's mission in the areas of ocean, coastal, Great Lakes, weather, and climate sciences and stewardship and should focus on one or more of the goals of NOAA's Next Generation Strategic Plan: healthy oceans; weather-ready nation; climate adaptation and mitigation; and resilient coastal communities and economies. 

Eligible entities include state, local, and tribal governments. 

6/19/2018 EDA

FY 2017 Economic Development Assistance Programs, Department of Commerce

The Economic Development Administration (EDA) solicits applications from applicants in rural and urban areas to provide investments that support construction, non-construction, technical assistance, and revolving loan fund projects under EDA’s Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance programs.

Grants and cooperative agreements made under these programs are designed to leverage existing regional assets and support the implementation of economic development strategies that advance new ideas and creative approaches to advance economic prosperity in distressed communities.

EDA provides strategic investments on a competitive- merit-basis to support economic development, foster job creation, and attract private investment in economically distressed areas of the United States. There are no submission deadlines under this opportunity. Proposals and applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis until the publication of a new Economic Development Assistance Program Federal Funding Opportunity announcement.

6/22/2018 Crayola

Crayola Creative Leadership Grants

Crayola is now accepting applications for the 2018 program, which provides grants for innovative, creative leadership team building within elementary/middle schools. Beginning Dec. 1, 2018, submit applications for the opportunity to receive a grant to help build your school's creative capacity. Each grant-winning school (up to 20 grants awarded) receives $2,500 and Crayola products valued at $1,000.

Pending USDA

Rural Business-Cooperative Service

USDA’s Rural Business-Cooperative Service has published a June 8, 2017 Federal Register notice to reopen the application period and to expand the types of entities eligible to apply for the Rural Transportation grants originally noted in a Nov. 18, 2016 Federal Register notice.

Assistance provided to Rural Areas under the program has historically included the provision of onsite technical assistance to local and regional governments, public transit agencies, and related Nonprofit and for-profit organizations in Rural Areas; the development of training materials; and the provision of necessary training assistance to local officials and agencies in Rural Areas. The original notice limited eligible entities to “qualified national nonprofit organizations.” It is USDA’s intent that otherwise qualified national organizations that are not nonprofits also be eligible. Therefore, in the reissuance of the Notice, the Agency is removing nonprofit'' as a condition for eligibility to apply and removing any additional references to "nonprofit'' found in the Nov. 18, 2016, notice. Because removing reference to ``nonprofits'' as a condition of eligibility increases the number of potential applicants, USDA is reopening the application period for a period of 90 days from the date the reissued notice is published in the FEDERAL REGISTER to allow entities sufficient time to apply for the grants. USDA is uncertain, however, whether extending the application period will provide sufficient time to evaluate applications and to make awards. Therefore, the Agency is removing in the reissued notice reference to the award date of Sep. 30, 2017, which was found in the Nov. 18, 2016, notice.

 

Ongoing Opportunities

This list provides information on technical assistance, funding, and renewable energy credits for tribal energy projects from a variety of U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and federal government programs. To explore current opportunities available to tribes, click on the titles of the solicitations below.

NC GreenPower Open RFP for Carbon Offsets and RECs

NC GreenPower is seeking proposals for projects that mitigate greenhouse gases; projects that reduce emissions indirectly from displaced electricity are not eligible. Priority will be given to purchasing carbon offsets from participating utility service territories in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia.

In addition, NC GreenPower is accepting bids for renewable energy credits (RECs) associated with renewable energy generated in North Carolina and supplied to the North Carolina electric grid. These bids provide NC GreenPower with a portfolio of available renewable energy projects to offer to NC GreenPower customers who purchase $15,000 or more annually on renewable energy credits (called a Brokered Bid). This is an ongoing, open-bid process for the Brokered Bid product only and includes any eligible renewable energy project, including large solar PV (over 5.0 kW) and large wind (over 10.0 kW).

EDA Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance Programs

The U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Assistance Program (EDA) is accepting applications to provide investments that support construction, non-construction, technical assistance, and revolving loan fund projects. Grants and cooperative agreements made under these programs are designed to leverage existing regional assets and support the implementation of economic development strategies that advance new ideas and creative approaches to advance economic prosperity in distressed communities. Eligible applicants include nonprofits that do not have a 501 (c)(3) status with the IRS, Native American tribal organizations (other than federally recognized tribes), federally recognized tribal governments, and nonprofits having a 501 (c)(3) status with the IRS.

USDA Community Facilities Direct Loan & Grant Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is accepting applications to develop essential community facilities in rural areas. Eligible areas including cities, villages, townships, and towns, including tribal lands, with no more than 20,000 residents. Funds can be used to purchase, construct, and/or improve essential community facilities, purchase equipment, and pay related expenses.

USDA Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grants

USDA is accepting applications for Energy Audits and Renewable Energy Development Assistance (EA REDA) grants to eligible agricultural producers and rural small businesses. These grants help promote American energy independence by increasing the private sector supply of renewable energy and decreasing the demand for energy through energy efficiency improvements. Eligible projects include energy audits, renewable energy technical assistance, and renewable energy site assessments.

Eligible entities include state and local governments, federally recognized tribes, rural electric cooperatives, public power entities, resource conservation and development councils, and land-grant colleges or universities.

USDA Emergency Watershed Protection Program

USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service is helping communities address watershed impairments that pose imminent threats to lives and property. The Emergency Watershed Protection Program was established by congress to respond to emergencies created by natural disasters and designed to help people and conserve natural resources by relieving imminent hazards to life and property caused by floods, fires, drought, windstorms, and other natural occurrences.

Public and private landowners are eligible for assistance, but must be represented by a project sponsor that must be a legal subdivision of the State, such as a city, county, township or conservation district, and Native American Tribes or Tribal governments.

Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Grants and Guaranteed Loans

USDA provides financial assistance to agriculture producers and rural small businesses to purchase, install, and construct renewable energy systems or complete energy efficiency improvements. An example of a potential funded project may be the installation of solar panels for hospitals or clinics to improve energy costs.

Office of Indian Energy Technical Assistance

The Office of Indian Energy provides federally recognized Indian Tribes, including Alaska Native villages, tribal energy resource development organizations, and other organized tribal groups and communities, with technical assistance to advance tribal energy projects. 

Technical experts from DOE, DOE's national laboratories, and others are available to provide up to 40 hours of in-depth support, including strategic energy planning and project development support.

The goal of the technical assistance is to address a specific challenge or fulfill a specific need that is essential to a current project's successful implementation. The intended result is a tangible product or specific deliverable designed to help move the project forward.

Indian Land Tenure Foundation Grants

The Indian Land Tenure Foundation has several grants available for tribes focusing on education, cultural awareness, economic opportunity, or legal reform. The Foundation creates grants to Indian nations and nonprofit organizations, and work closely with several affiliate organizations, who share our mission and goals.

USDA Emergency Community Water Assistance Grants

USDA is accepting applications to assist rural communities that have experienced a significant decline in quantity or quality of drinking water due to an emergency, or in which such decline is considered imminent, to obtain or maintain adequate quantities of water that meets the standards set by the Safe Drinking Water Act. This emergency is considered an occurrence of an incident such as, but not limited to, a drought, earthquake, flood, tornado, hurricane, disease outbreak, or chemical spill.

DOI Indian Loan Guaranty, Insurance, and Interest Subsidy Program

The U.S. Department of the Interior’s (DOI’s) Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development is accepting loan applications on an ongoing basis through the Indian Loan Guaranty, Insurance, and Interest Subsidy Program. Operated by 12 Bureau of Indian Affairs regional offices cross the country in coordination with the Division of Capital Investment in Washington, D.C., the program is aimed at spurring the development of viable Indian businesses through conventional lender financing. Tribes or individuals simply apply for a loan through any lender that regularly engages in making loans; in cases where the lending institution would not otherwise approve a borrower’s loan application, the lender may apply for a loan guaranty. By helping reduce the risk incurred by lenders, the program helps borrowers secure financing that might otherwise be unavailable. Eligible entities include federally recognized Tribes and Alaska Native groups.p>

IRS Clean Renewable Energy Bonds

The Internal Review Service (IRS) is accepting applications for a volume cap of up to $800 million to finance the costs of a qualified renewable energy facility or facilities, such as wind, closed- or open-loop biomass, geothermal, solar, small irrigation, and other facilities. The application must indicate the expected date of construction and when each facility will be placed in service. Eligible applicants include governmental bodies, including Tribes, and cooperative electric companies.

USDA Biomass Crop Assistance Program

USDA announced that Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) incentives will resume this summer. The incentives will assist farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners with growing, maintaining, and harvesting biomass that can be used for energy or bio-based products. Farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners can also receive financial assistance to grow biomass crops that will be converted into energy in selected BCAP project areas. New BCAP project area proposals will be solicited beginning this summer and accepted through fall 2015, with new project area announcements and enrollments taking place in early spring 2016. Once the call for solicitations is announced, Tribes will need to review the eligibility to ensure they qualify.

USDA Farm Bill Broadband Loans & Loan Guarantees

USDA is accepting applications to provide funds for the costs of construction, improvement, or acquisition of facilities and equipment needed to provide service at the broadband lending speed in eligible rural areas. To be eligible for a broadband loan, an applicant may be either a non-profit or for-profit organization, and must take one of the following forms: corporation; limited liability company (LLC); cooperative or mutual organization; a state or local unit of government; or Indian tribe or tribal organization.

Ford Family Foundation

The Ford Family Foundation is accepting applications to two funding opportunities for small or rural communites with populations under 35,000.

  • Good Neighbor Grant offers funding to address unexpected needs or simple projects. Grants are available between $1,000–$10,000. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
  • Community Building Spaces Grant offers funding for the development of public spaces. Various uses of funding include land acquisition, purchasing buildings, construction and renovations, among other activities. Grants are available between $50,000–$250,000. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. 

Environmental Infrastructure Loan Program 

Rural Community Assistance Corporation’s (RCAC) Environmental Infrastructure Loan Program helps create, improve, or expand the supply of safe drinking water, waste disposal systems and other facilities that serve rural communities. RCAC’s loan programs provide the early funds small rural communities need to determine feasibility and pay pre-development costs prior to receiving state &/or federal program funding. May also provide interim construction financing, and intermediate & long-term loans for system improvements. 

Eligible entities include nonprofit organizations, public agencies, and tribal governments. Projects must be located in rural areas with populations of 50,000 or less in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii and other pacific islands, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. Community size is limited to 10,000 for long-term USDA guaranteed loans and short-term loans for which USDA is the long-term lender. Eligible projects include water, wastewater, solid waste & storm water facilities. Contact Mike Carroll at mcarroll@rcac.org