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May 23, 2016
Students pose in front of Buckland’s 10.53-kW solar system used to power the village’s new water plant. Photo from Alison Jech, Buckland School.
Buckland Students Explore Ways to Address Rural Alaska Energy Challenges

Last month, with support from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Indian Energy, I had the privilege of taking my students from the Buckland School to the Alaska Rural Energy Conference in Fairbanks. Students presented to conference attendees and watched presentations from national, regional, state, and local energy experts that tied into the clean energy issues they are studying as part of the Alaska Humanities Forum Sister School Exchange program.

May 10, 2016
Solar installation supervisors (blue shirts) from GRID worked with tribal volunteers (white shirts) to complete five residential solar PV system installations on the Bishop Paiute Reservation in March 2016. Photo from Gary Bacock, Bishop Paiute Tribe.
Five Things That Make a Good Tribal Energy Project Great

There is no formulaic approach for achieving tribal energy sufficiency. After all, each American Indian and Alaska Native community has its own unique energy resources, challenges, and goals. Many Indian tribes have made considerable progress toward achieving their energy goals. Take the Bishop Paiute Tribe as an example. This community, located at the foot of the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains in California, must be doing something right. The Tribe is rapidly approaching the 100th residential solar installation on its 523-household Reservation. 

May 10, 2016
Six PV arrays generate 32 kW of energy to power 20 units at the AHA Sunrise Acres housing complex on the Saint Regis Mohawk Reservation. Photo by Rachel Sullivan, National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
Tribal Housing Authorities: Advancing Energy Projects Through Informed Collaboration

Tribal housing authorities often play a major role in facilitating energy development projects for the communities they serve. In fact, of the 16 projects selected to receive funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Indian Energy in March, two are headed up by housing authorities.

May 10, 2016
Indian Energy Beat Spring/Summer 2016—Message from the Director

Dear Friends,

The Office of Indian Energy is proud to stand behind the visionary leadership exemplified by the American Indian and Alaska Native communities recently selected to receive U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) funding and technical assistance for a diverse array of energy projects.

May 9, 2016
Blue Lake Rancheria Energy Director Jana Ganion flanked by Kernen Construction Site Supervisor Gavin Johnson (left) and Blue Lake Rancheria Facilities Director Neil Harris (right). Photo from Blue Lake Rancheria
Blue Lake Rancheria Kicks Off Solar System Construction

The Blue Lake Rancheria (Tribe) is on the fast track to a clean energy future, and on May 3, 2016, the Tribe hit a new milestone as construction of its 500-kilowatt (kW) solar array got underway. The solar system is a cornerstone of the Tribe’s low-carbon, community-scale microgrid project, scheduled to be online by year-end.

April 28, 2016
Office of Indian Energy Chris Deschene (third from the right) was among those in attendance at a groundbreaking ceremony the Seneca Nation of Indians held for its 1.5-MW wind turbine on April 27. Photo by Ken Parker, Food Is Our Medicine.
Seneca Nation of Indians Leverages DOE Support for Wind Turbine Project

The Seneca Nation sought support from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to develop a strategic energy plan. The Seneca Nation of Indians was competitively selected for a First Steps grant to develop its vision of energy self-sufficiency, quantify its energy needs and resources, and identify its energy options.

April 26, 2016
Village of Chefornak, Alaska. Photo from Lovina Tunuchuk, flickr
Thirteen Alaska Community Efficiency Champions Selected to Receive Technical Assistance from the Energy Department

Today, at the 2016 Alaska Rural Energy Conference in Fairbanks, I had the pleasure of announcing 13 communities selected to receive technical assistance as part of the Remote Alaska Communities Energy Efficiency (RACEE) Competition. The RACEE Competition is a $4 million joint effort between the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Indian Energy and the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy focused on significantly accelerating efforts by remote Alaskan communities to adopt sustainable energy strategies.

April 26, 2016
Alaska Energy Champion: Jed Drolet

Change doesn’t happen on its own. It’s led by dedicated and passionate people who are championing innovative solutions to Alaska’s energy challenges. Alaska Energy Champions is a regular feature spotlighting pioneers of Alaska’s new energy frontier.

April 19, 2016
Film Tells the Story of Indian Country’s Energy Development from the Native Perspective

On April 13, the documentary “Red Power Energy” made its debut as the first film in the International Institute for Indigenous Resource Management’s 2016 Indigenous Film Series. Shown on the oversized screen at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science’s Phipps Theater, the film delivered an impactful, larger-than-life portrait of renewable and nonrenewable energy development in Indian Country today. Among the tribes featured were the Crow Nation (Montana); Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation (North Dakota); Northern Cheyenne (Montana); Oglala Lakota Nation (South Dakota); Rosebud Sioux (South Dakota); Shoshone and Arapaho Tribes of the Wind River Reservation (North Dakota); and Southern Ute (Colorado).

March 29, 2016
Touring First Solar's 250-megawatt Moapa Southern Paiute Solar Project located on the Moapa River Reservation. From left to right: Office of Indian Energy Director Chris Deschene, Office of Indian Energy Senior Policy Advisor Doug MacCourt, National Renewable Energy Laboratory Engineer Sherry Stout, Moapa Band of Paiutes Vice Chairman Greg Anderson, and Office of Indian Energy 48 Contiguous States Program Manager Sarai Geary. Photo from Sam Scucci, First Solar
Solar Project Provides Jobs and Training for Moapa Band of Paiute Indians

Last week, the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Indian Energy hosted a two-day energy track and booth at the National Reservation Economic Summit (RES) in Las Vegas. After a busy few days at the conference, I had the opportunity to join Office of Indian Energy Director Chris Deschene, Senior Policy Advisor Doug MacCourt, and Program Manager Sarai Geary on a visit to a solar project on the Moapa River Reservation.