The Energy Department on November 14 announced that nine tribal clean energy projects will receive more than $7 million. These awards will help American Indian and Alaska Native tribes deploy clean energy projects—saving these communities money, enhancing their energy security, and creating new job and business opportunities. The biomass, energy efficiency, solar, and wind energy projects will be located in Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York, and Wisconsin.
Among the projects competitively selected to receive funding are energy upgrades to refrigeration systems at the Benewah Market of the Coeur d'Alene Tribe in Plummer, Idaho, and an energy efficiency retrofit to the main office building of the Gwichyaa Zhee Gwich’in Tribal Government in Fort Yukon, Alaska.
According to a recent study by the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, American Indian land comprises 2% of the U.S. land, but contains an estimated 5% of all U.S. renewable energy resources. Since 2002, the Energy Department’s Tribal Energy Program has invested nearly $42 million in 175 tribal clean energy projects, and in collaboration with the Department’s Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs, provides financial and technical assistance to tribes for the evaluation and development of their renewable energy resources, implementation of energy efficiency projects to reduce energy use, and education and training to help build the knowledge and skills essential for sustainable energy projects. See the Energy Department press release.