Secretary Chu notes, “Tribal Nations are well-positioned to take advantage of the benefits of clean energy and energy efficient technologies. Projects such as these will save energy and money, create long-term clean energy jobs, and spur economic development in tribal communities nationwide.”
The DOE funding will be divided between three project areas: energy efficiency feasibility studies, first-steps projects, and energy efficiency installation.
Nine tribal projects will receive $2.17 million to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings. Conducting energy assessments to identify cost-effective building upgrades allows recipients to realize significant savings on their energy bills. When completed, the identified upgrades could reduce energy use by at least 30 percent in each building.
Seventeen tribal energy projects will receive $2.14 million “for strategic planning, energy options analysis, energy organization development, and workforce development as the first steps toward a clean energy future.” Several of the awardees will develop tribal strategic energy plans, while others support the development of tribal energy organizations like utilities, energy offices, tribal committees, or other organizations to implement the selected Tribe’s long-term energy plans.
The last five projects on tribal lands will receive $2 million for energy efficient upgrades in buildings that will help Tribes reduce electricity or heating and cooling costs by 30 percent or more.
The grants are administered by DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), which in coordination with the Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs (IE) “provides financial and technical assistance to Indian Tribes for the evaluation and development of their energy resources, implementation of energy efficiency to reduce energy use, and provides education and training to help build the knowledge and skills essential for sustainable energy projects.”