DOE offers funding to pilot tribal technical assistance

Deadline: April 14, 2016

Update: Slides from the March I informational webinar are available online. Download to learn about eligibility requirements and essential details of the application process.

Up to $7 million in funding is available to Indian tribes and Alaska Native Villages to develop a Technical Assistance Energy Providers Network. This pilot project by the Department of Energy Office of Indian Energy is intended to train regional energy experts to provide the tribes with technical energy assistance and informational resources.

As part of these inter-tribal regional programs, the energy experts would:

  1. Coordinate energy solutions among participating Indian tribes (including Alaska Native villages) within the region;
  2. Deliver technical assistance to participating tribes within the region;
  3. Build the human capacity of participating tribes by providing information to tribal leaders and staff through workshops or webinars;
  4. Serve as an information clearinghouse for participating Indian tribes;
  5. Network with regional and national energy organizations;
  6. Advise DOE’s Office of Indian Energy on the energy goals and needs within their region; and
  7. Enhance DOE’s technical assistance network across Indian Country.

Applications are due April 14, 2016, and must be submitted through EERE Exchange, DOE’s online application portal.

Source: DOE Office of Indian Energy, 2/15/16

Energy Department offers $6 million for Native American clean energy

Western, DOE Office of Indian Energy, present free webinar for applicants
Sept. 16
1-2 p.m. MDT

The Energy Department (DOE) announced on September 2 a $6 million grant opportunity to establish clean energy and energy efficiency projects on tribal lands. The Department’s Office of Indian Energy is soliciting applications from Indian tribes (including Alaska Native regional corporations, village corporations, tribal consortia and tribal organizations) and tribal energy resource development organizations to install facility-scale clean energy and energy efficiency projects and community-scale clean energy projects on Indian lands.

Accompanying the funding announcement, DOE issued a report showing that threats to tribal energy infrastructure are expected to increase as climate change exacerbates extreme weather conditions. Tribal Energy Systems Vulnerabilities to Climate Change examines in detail, region by region, how climate change is likely to affect the energy supply system serving tribal lands—including many system components that are not directly owned or controlled by tribes. The report concludes that tribes that own and operate their energy infrastructure have greater self-determination in building resilient energy infrastructures.

The Office of Indian Energy, in coordination with Western, is hosting an informational webinar on the funding opportunity on Sept. 16, 2015,  from 1–2 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time. Attendees will hear who is eligible to apply, what the application needs to include, cost share and other requirements, how to ask questions and how applications will be selected for funding. There is no charge for the webinar, but advanced registration is required.

Applications must be submitted by Dec. 10, 2015, 5 p.m. ET.

Source: Green Power News via EERE Network News, 9/9/15

Tribal leader forum, renewables workshop scheduled in New Mexico

Albuquerque, NM
July 27-29

The Tribal Energy Program and the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Indian Energy have teamed up with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to host two back-to-back events for Native American tribes interested in developing renewable energy on their lands. The Tribal Leader Forum on Tribal Energy and Economic Development: Tribal Utility Formation will take place July 27, followed by the Community-Scale Tribal Renewable Energy Workshop July 28-29.

How to start a utility
The Tribal Leader Forum, at the Pueblo Cultural Center Redirecting to a non-government site in Albuquerque, is the 11th in a series of planned strategic energy development forums sponsored by the Office of Indian Energy.  The focus will be on the tribal utility as a structure for long-term economic growth to meet the needs of tribal communities. Tribal leaders and staff will have the opportunity to interact with other tribes, federal agencies and energy industry experts to learn more about tribal utility formation and regulation.

A blend of informative sessions and interactive roundtables will bring beginners and experienced practitioners together for a national dialogue on fundamentals and best practices for tribal utilities. Forum objectives include:

  • Exploring the fundamental opportunities and challenges of capturing the benefits of tribal energy from the perspective of tribal utilities
  • Gaining a better understanding of the role, function and power of the tribal utility in achieving tribal policies
  • Establishing an ongoing dialogue among tribal leaders to help shape the future of tribal energy and tribal utilities.

Focus on five steps
The Community-Scale Tribal Renewable Energy Workshop, July 28-29, is a unique opportunity to learn from renewable energy project experts. Attendees will get hands-on experience using technology resource assessment tools, explore project case studies and hear about lessons learned from other tribes.

The interactive workshop is based on a dynamic new curriculum designed to walk participants through the five steps necessary to develop and finance renewable energy projects on tribal lands:

  •  Assessing project potential
  • Determining technology options
  • Refining the project
  • Implementing financing and construction
  • Planning for project operation and maintenance

This event will be held at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Albuquerque Historic Old Town, and feature a tour of Sandia National Laboratories. Coffee, a light breakfast, lunch, and an afternoon snack are included in the registration fee.

Register today!
The forum and workshop are limited to elected tribal leaders, tribal executives and tribal staff. There is no cost to attend, but registration is required. RSVP now to secure your spot by email or by calling 303-275-3005.

Lodging available
The Holiday Inn Express & Suites Albuquerque Historic Old Town is offering a limited block of rooms at a discounted rate of $94.99 single or double occupancy per room per night. A limited number of government per diem rate rooms are also available upon request. Make reservations by calling 505-842-5000.

Source: DOE Office of Indian Energy, 7/6/15

Energy Department to Help Tribes Advance Clean Energy Projects and Increase Resiliency

As part of the Obama Administration’s efforts to help tribal communities nationwide enhance their energy security and build a sustainable energy future, the U.S. Department of Energy today announced the third round of Strategic Technical Assistance Response Team (START) Renewable Energy Project Development Assistance, which provides federally recognized tribal governments and other tribal entities with on-the-ground support to accelerate clean energy project deployment. Read more.

Applications are due to the DOE Office of Indian Energy by May 1, 2015. Up to five projects will be selected by late June 2015. Technical assistance will be provided from July 2015 through August 2016.

Source: Department of Energy, 2/25/15

Western, DOE announce 2015 Tribal Renewable Energy Webinar lineup

The webinar series for Native American tribes, government officials and renewable energy developers returns Jan. 28, 2015, with a new schedule covering the many aspects of developing energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.

Now in its third year, the Tribal Renewable Energy Webinar series is a cooperative production by Western, the Tribal Energy Program and the Office of Indian Energy. Knowledge to Energy: The Path to Projects builds on the material presented in the previous years’ webinars, as well as experiences from projects being developed in Indian Country.

“The planning committee worked closely with many stakeholders to identify and prioritize potential topics for the 2015 webinar series,” said Western Renewable Program Manager Randy Manion.  “We then analyzed participant interest over the previous 24 months, considered past and current technical assistance activities in Indian Country, and made final determinations regarding highest value topics to include in the 2015 series.”

The result is a series that focuses on best practices, case studies, regulatory issues and business and financing models:

  • Jan. 28 – Best Practices in Developing a Tribal Strategic Energy Plan
  • Feb. 25 – Models for Tribal Energy Development Organizations
  • March 25 – Tribal Energy Development Operation and Management Best Practices
  • April 29 – Innovative Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, and Grid Technology Updates
  • May 27 – Tribal Case Study Using Models and Tools for Evaluating Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Program and Project Opportunities
  • June 24 – Regulatory Impacts on Indian Lands
  • July 29 – Best Practices for Developing and Implementing a Request for Proposals
  • Aug. 26 – Successful Tribal Renewable Energy Projects
  • Sept. 30 – Effective Ways for Tribal Governments to Work with Utilities
  • Oct. 28 – Advanced Financing Models
  • Nov. 18 – Putting it all Together

The webinars are generally held on the last Wednesday of the month from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Mountain Time. Visit the Tribal Energy Program for more information and links to registration (required).

Energy department now accepting applications for START, round 2

As part of the Obama Administration’s efforts to help Tribal communities across the country enhance their energy security and build a sustainable energy future, the Energy Department has announced the second round of the Strategic Technical Assistance Response Team (START) Program. Federally recognized Tribal governments can receive technical assistance to accelerate clean energy project deployment from this program. The Energy Department also plans to seek information from tribes interested in launching or expanding utility services in their own communities, which will help establish a new START Utility Program (START-UP).

The new technical assistance opportunities will strengthen the nation’s partnership with tribal communities, create good jobs and protect the planet, stated Office of Indian Energy Director Tracey LeBeau. “Working side by side with tribal energy leaders across the country, we are making sure Native American and Alaska Native Tribes have the tools and resources they need to foster economic competitiveness and promote tribal self-sufficiency,” she said.

Over the past year, the START Program helped nine tribal communities advance their clean energy technology and infrastructure projects, from solar and wind to biofuels and energy efficiency. In the current round of START projects, energy experts from the Energy Department’s national laboratories and other Federal agencies worked with tribal leaders to develop strategic community energy plans, conduct market research and identify financing mechanisms to support cost-effective renewable energy project development.

The next round of technical assistance awards will build upon the program’s initial successes. Native communities will receive further help increasing local generation capacity, enhancing energy-efficiency measures and creating local entrepreneurial and job opportunities. In the contiguous United States, awards will support tribes developing community-scale clean energy projects across the country. Alaska’s Denali Commission and Energy Department experts will help rural Alaska Native communities conduct energy awareness and training programs, and pursue new renewable energy and energy-efficiency opportunities.

Visit the Energy Department’s Office of Indian Energy website to learn more about the START Program and application requirements. Applications are due by March 15, 2013.

New program for tribal utility planning

To support affordable and reliable electrical service to Indian lands and tribal communities, the Energy Department is launching a new tribal START Utility Program (START-UP). Expanding on the current START Program, START-UP will help tribes across the country develop their own utility services and increase ownership of local energy assets.

In an effort to tailor the program to the needs of Indian Country, the Department plans to gather information and public comment from tribes interested in developing, acquiring or expanding utility services in their own communities. Check the Office of Indian Energy website in the coming weeks for more details on this outreach. Source: DOE Office of Indian Energy, 1/29/13