Tribal Energy Webinar Series returns with focus on partnerships

WAPA is pleased to once again sponsor the Tribal Energy Webinar Series with the Department of Energy Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs (IE). The series begins Feb. 22 at 11 a.m. MT with Indian Energy: Looking Back and Moving Forward.

“Expanding Tribal Energy Development through Partnerships” is the theme for the 2017 series of 11 webinars. Tribal leaders and staff, as well as anyone interested in working in Indian Country, can participate in the free events. The series supports fiscally responsible energy business and economic development decision-making and promotes information exchange with the 565 federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native sovereign nations, bands, villages and communities.

As national concerns about energy sufficiency and security have risen, American Indians and Alaska Natives have recognized the potential economic and self-determination benefits of energy resource development on their lands. Tribal lands consist of more than 56 million acres, or 2.3 percent of all land throughout the U.S. An estimated 17.1 million acres hold existing and potential fossil energy and mineral resources and about 5 percent of the country’s technically feasible renewable energy resource potential. Tribes with minimal fossil energy, mineral resources or renewable energy potential could benefit from other energy options, such as energy efficiency, demand-side technologies and collaborative supply arrangements.

Comprehensive agenda
Now in its fifth year, the Tribal Energy Webinar Series continues to meet critically important educational needs for tribal communities. Attendees will discover tools and resources for developing and implementing tribal energy plans, programs and projects. Webinars will provide case histories and business strategies tribes can use to expand their energy options and develop sustainable local economies.

The webinars are scheduled February through December on the last Wednesday of the month at 11 a.m. MT. Topics include:

  • Feb. 22 – Indian Energy: Looking Back and Moving Forward You are leaving 
    The first webinar in the series provides an overview of Indian energy in the U.S. and the mission of the IE office. Speakers will cover past successes, future plans and how to add value and streamline government procedures for tribes interested in energy development and self-determination.
  • March 29 – Federal and State Policy Impacts to Tribal Energy Partnerships You are leaving 
    Developing energy resources through partnerships is complex and can affect both tribal and non-tribal communities. Learn about state and federal requirements that could impact energy projects on tribal lands depending on the type of project, location, size and other considerations.
  • April 26 – Spending Energy Dollars Wisely You are leaving 
    Presentations will explore strategies, tools and technical assistance opportunities to develop a deliberate approach to maximizing energy dollars. Tribal guest speakers will share their successes and lessons learned in pursuing, developing and implementing strategic approaches to wise energy investments.
  • May 31 – What Energy Project is Right for my Tribe? You are leaving 
    Learn how to identify appropriate energy projects, from a small renewable generator for a single residence or building to a utility-scale project requiring transmission interconnection and a purchase power agreement. The pros and cons of ownership and leasing, differences among various renewable and conventional technologies and potential project barriers will be covered.
  • June 28 – Tribal Project Partnerships You are leaving 
    Hear about successful partnerships and how the successes can be replicated throughout the U.S. This webinar will be of particular interest to tribal nations and energy industry professionals interested in expanding their energy resource options and increasing economic development and self-determination.
  • July 26 – Powering Your Community with Tribal Energy You are leaving 
    Speakers will address the steps to developing a 1- to 2-megawatt energy project on tribally owned or controlled property to serve the energy needs of the tribal community.
  • Aug. 30 – University Resources for Tribal Partnerships You are leaving 
    Explore how relationships between universities and tribal nations can foster greater economic development, self-determination and energy independence for the tribes. Speakers will talk about successful university programs and initiatives on energy and the environment that are valuable resources to tribes.
  • Sept. 27 – Fundamentals of Organized Energy Markets for Tribes You are leaving 
    Find out how the expansion of establishments such as the Southwest Power Pool and the California Independent System Operator is will create opportunities for those looking for more energy resource options or to buy and sell energy resources, especially on tribal lands.
  • Oct. 25 – Tribes Working Together You are leaving 
    Generation and transmission and joint-action agencies offer business models for jointly owning, procuring and building new transmission and power generation projects Learn about these and other partnership opportunities that can support tribal energy independence and self-determination on tribal lands.
  • Nov. 29 – Partnerships for Utilities and Tribes Initiative You are leaving 
    This webinar introduces a new initiative to facilitate stronger and improved relationships between tribes and the utilities or energy companies that serve them. Another possible benefit of this effort is improved employment of tribal members in utility and energy sector jobs.

Register today
Be a part of expanding energy self-determination among our country’s American Indians and Alaska Natives by registering for any or all webinars. There is no charge to attend, but registration is required. Attendees must have internet access, computer compatibility with GoToWebinar software You are leaving (free download) and a phone line. Recordings of the 2016 webinar series and archived recordings  from past years are available to download.

Webinar series answers tribes’ questions about renewable energy projects

One of the most important things we do at Western—after providing low-cost federal hydropower to public power utilities—is to help our customers manage their resources in a rapidly changing world. Now in its fourth year, the Tribal Renewable Energy Webinar Series is helping Native American tribes to gain a clear picture of a complex industry and build business relationships needed to develop the renewable resources on their lands.

Western has partnered with the Department of Energy Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs to present tribal members and stakeholders with valuable, practical knowledge about renewable energy technologies, markets and policies. Since 2011, the series has covered every aspect of project development, from resource and site evaluation to transmission access and interconnection to power marketing. The current series, Knowledge to Energy: The Path to Projects, builds on the material presented in the previous years to focus on best practices, case studies, regulatory issues and business and financing models.

Successful outreach
This cost-effective approach to technical assistance has reached thousands of Native American representatives and interested stakeholders. More than 3,500 tribal members participated in the 2014 series alone, and 2015 is off to a promising start, said Western Renewable Energy Program Manager and Webinar Series Chair Randy Manion. “We’ve received many notes of thanks and appreciation already for the first two webinars,” he commented. “We spend several months planning these series to ensure topics are on target, timely and useful in moving renewable projects forward on tribal lands.”

The January webinar, Best Practices in Developing a Tribal Strategic Energy Plan, had particular significance to a tribal representative located in Western’s Upper Great Plains Region. “He told me afterward that the tribe is developing a strategic energy plan, and the webinar made him realize the importance of community input in planning,” recalled Manion. “Those positive feedbacks happen after each webinar, and they are confirmations that we are on the right track with our topics and speakers.”

Manion explained that during the last four years, the question-and-answer sessions during the webinar and feedback afterward have helped the planning committee to hone in on what interests the tribes. Recruiting speakers, while still a formidable task, is getting easier as the series gains recognition for its high quality. “More tribal leaders and staff are joining the experts on the agenda,” he said. “We see an uptick in audience interaction and interest when the participants have a chance to talk to peers about their experiences developing projects.”

The growing number of tribes with their own experience is another indication of the success of the webinar series. “Getting tribal members to participate as presenters for the webinars has been a priority for the series this year,” Manion acknowledged.

The series has helped tribes to better understand what they need to reach full or partial energy self-sufficiency—a high priority on tribal lands—and to keep that momentum going during changes in tribal councils and leadership positions. “We are also bridging awareness within the energy industry of what tribes are doing successfully, who they are and how to work with them,” added Manion.

Like many outreach programs intended to help customers, the Tribal Webinar Series has been good for the sponsoring agencies as well. Western’s Power Marketing representatives have observed that what tribes learn from the webinars about renewable energy issues increases their understanding of hydropower marketing and transmission issues.

More than talk—action!
The benefits of the webinar series extend beyond better communication about energy development to an increase in requests for technical assistance from the federal sponsors. Western has conducted several pre-feasibility transmission studies in support of potential renewable energy projects on tribal lands. These studies help tribes determine the probable size, interconnection and feasibility of proposed renewable projects, and also assist in the search for financing and potential buyers for the generation.

“Our technical assistance to Native American Tribes is not limited to pre-feasibility transmission studies and webinars,” Manion said. “With the funding Western receives from the DOE Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs, we are open to considering other requests.”

For example, Western has conducted four prefeasibility studies for tribal utility formation. Two of the tribes are now independently moving forward to the next level of analysis. Also, the Energy Management and Marketing Office in Western’s Desert Southwest Region is conducting a market assessment to remove barriers and identify opportunities for tribal renewable energy projects that could interconnect with the ED5-Palo Verde Hub Transmission Project, funded by the Transmission Infrastructure Program.

Tribes interested in receiving technical assistance need to complete a simple TA form on the DOE Office of Indian Energy and Policy Program website. If DOE believes that Western can complete the request, it is forwarded to Manion who coordinates appropriate colleagues in an internal review to determine if it is suitable for Western to act on the request. In some cases, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory or another federal entity may be better equipped to handle the request. DOE, NREL and Western staff confer extensively with the requesting tribe before making the decision as to whether the request is a good fit for the agencies.

Native American tribes are poised to play a greater role in meeting the nation’s need for low-carbon, home-grown energy resources. At the same time, developing renewable energy projects is a way for tribes to grow their local economy and improve the quality of life in Indian Country. Western and the DOE Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs are pleased to provide technical assistance such as the Tribal Renewable Energy Webinar Series to move tribes closer to these goals.

The Tribal Renewable Energy Webinar Series is usually scheduled for the last Wednesday of each month, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Mountain Time. There is no cost to attend, but you must register in advance. Presentations and audio files from past webinars can be found in the Renewable Energy Program webinar library.

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).

Tribal Energy Program Review Postponed Until March 2014

The Tribal Energy Program Review originally scheduled for Nov. 18-22, 2013, has been postponed and will be rescheduled for next calendar year.

Please accept our apologies for the late notice and any inconvenience this may cause. We are tentatively planning to reschedule for the week of March 24, 2014, and will announce the details as soon as they are available.

We look forward to seeing you in the spring! Source: DOE Tribal Energy Program, 10/24/13

Save the Date: 2013 Tribal Energy Program Review

Nov. 18-22, 2013
Golden, Colo.

Recognizing tribes’ increasing interest in energy efficiency and renewable energy, the Tribal Energy Program’s annual Program Review is a gathering that enables tribes to meet and learn from other tribes that are pursuing energy sufficiency through efficiency and renewable energy projects, and to share in each other’s successes.

This unique forum highlights the wide range of renewable energy and energy efficiency projects under way in Indian Country. The review includes an overview of the program and a series of presentations by tribes from across the nation that are exploring or deploying weatherization, energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.

Because human capacity is a focus of the Tribal Energy Program, attendees will also learn about the internship program and hear inspiring stories directly from young Native American students about their experiences and summer projects. Register online, or contact the Tribal Energy Program for more information. Source: DOE EERE Tribal Energy Program, 8/8/13

Free webinar explores grid reliability impacts on tribal renewable projects

July 25
11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. MDT

Join the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs, DOE Tribal Energy Program and Western’s Renewables Program July 25 for the free webinar, Grid Reliability – Impacts to Tribal Renewable Projects.  

Compliance with the North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s Redirecting to a non-government site (NERC) reliability standards became mandatory in 2008, raising the importance of compliance programs throughout the electric industry and exposing noncompliant entities to monetary sanctions. This webinar provides an overview of the purpose and organization of a compliance program, what parts of the bulk electric system the program covers, the range of reliability standards affecting power operations and maintenance, responsible registered entities and how reliability requirements can impact tribal renewable projects.

This is the seventh webinar in the Tribal Energy Self-sufficiency series covering such topics and tribal renewable development opportunities, transmission policy, the future of the transmission grid, details about NERC compliance and how to  request transmission service.  The final webinar, DOE Office of Indian Energy’s START Program Status Updates, is scheduled for Sept. 26, 2012. Presentations from past webinars are available in Western’s Renewables Program webcast library.   

This event is free, but space is limited and registration Redirecting to a non-government site is required. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

DOE Tribal Webinar Series Presents Today’s Energy Supply, Yesterday’s Grid

 May 30, 2012
11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. MDT

Utilities’ generation portfolios are changing—often faster than the infrastructure that supports it—and power providers now face the challenge of integrating new generation and demand (load) response technologies into a grid that was designed to operate a different way. Western, the U.S. DOE Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs and the DOE Tribal Energy Program invite tribal utility managers and resource engineers to Today’s Energy Supply – Yesterday’s Grid, a free, informative webinar May 30 to explore strategies for meeting these demands.

Speakers include experts from the DOE Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, the MIT Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research and the Western Grid Group. Presentations will cover:

  1. Key findings in the MIT Energy Initiative Report on the changes needed in the US Grid to handle expected challenges such as the influx of electric cars and wind and solar generation
  2. Western Grid Group’s Clean Energy Vision Project, which charts a sustained, orderly transition from the carbon intensive electricity system of today to a cleaner, smarter and healthier electricity system of the future.

There is no charge to attend the webinar, however you must register to participate.

Free webinar explains transmission policy

Feb. 29, 2012
Webinar 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m MST

Learn how transmission policy is established and enforced, and the impact policy has on transmission resources at a free webinar, Unwinding Transmission Policies, Feb. 29 at 11:00 am to 12:30 pm MST. 

This webinar is the fourth in a series presented by the DOE Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs, DOE Tribal Energy Program and Western. The series will continue through September 2012 and cover topics such as tribal renewable project opportunities, transmission policy, vision of tomorrow’s transmission grid, National Energy Regulatory Commission (NERC) compliance and requesting transmission service. 

Space is limited, so register today. After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Second in series of webinars for tribal renewables development announced

Free webinar
Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2011
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. MST

The Department of Energy’s Tribal Energy Program and Western Area Power Administration are presenting Overview of US Department of Energy Power Marketing Administrations (PMAs), a free webinar, Nov. 30 at 11 a.m. Mountain time. 

Speaker Jon Worthington of Western will provide a description of PMAs and cover their service territories, power resources, role in delivering Federal power to customers and methods of determining power rates.  A discussion on preference customer qualifications is also part of the agenda.

This is the second webinar in a series for Native American tribes scheduled to run through July 2012. Presentations from the Aug. 17 webinar, Challenges and Opportunities with Tribal Renewable Energy Development, are available from the Public Renewables Partnership. Future topics include transmission policy, vision of tomorrow’s transmission grid, what you need to know about Federal Energy Regulatory Commission compliance, and overview of requesting transmission service.

This series highlights key technical, policy and market issues that tribes need to understand to successfully respond to utility requests for proposals for renewable energy generation. Participants will increase their knowledge about the competitive power markets and other issues surrounding renewable resource development.

Tribe members who are interested in responding to utility-offered renewable RFPs, or who would like to learn more about the competitive power market, and utility professionals interested in working with tribes on renewable energy development should register today for Overview of US Department of Energy Power Marketing Administrations (PMAs).  After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Webinar offers tribes guidance for winning utility renewable RFPs

Join Western and the DOE Tribal Energy Program for a FREE webinar, Aug. 17, on Challenges and Opportunities with Tribal Renewable Energy Development, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mountain Time.

Utilities in Western’s 15-state territory need renewable energy and renewable energy certificates to meet goals and mandates. Native American tribes have abundant renewable resources on tribal lands, and jobs and economic development would come from building generation projects. This webinar is for tribes who are interested in responding to renewable Requests for Proposals from utilities, or who simply want to learn more about the competitive power market. 

There are many challenges that beset renewable project development—from transmission interconnection and availability to conditions that are unique to each tribe. Speakers from utilities, government agencies and developers will offer their perspectives on how tribes can navigate the obstacles to create winning partnerships that result in successful tribal renewable projects. Expect frank discussions on what utilities expect in a tribal proposal to a renewable RFP, along with examples of success. See the full agenda.

Register online, or contact Guy Nelson at 541-994-4670 or 541-921-1127 for more information. Due to limited space, early registration is STRONGLY encouraged.