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DOE Office of Indian Energy to Host Tribal Renewable Energy Workshop Feb. 9–11

January 28, 2016 - 7:14pm

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Bringing a tribal energy project to fruition is a complex, multifaceted process that can be challenging to navigate. From planning and structuring to financing and implementation, each phase of project development involves obstacles, setbacks, twists, and turns dictated by the tribe’s unique energy landscape. To assist tribal energy project teams in navigating these complexities, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Indian Energy is offering a hands-on, interactive workshop Feb. 9–11 at the Agua Caliente Resort and Casino in Rancho Mirage, California.

The first in a series of regional tribal energy development workshops the Office of Indian Energy is hosting this year, the three-day workshop will walk participants through a five-step process for developing community-scale renewable energy projects on tribal lands.

“Our goal is to help tribes offset community energy costs and become more energy self-sufficient,” said Office of Indian Energy Program Manager Sarai Geary. “The workshop offers a unique opportunity for participants to learn from renewable energy project experts, get hands-on experience using technology resource assessment tools, tap into local and federal assistance, explore project case studies, and to hear about lessons learned from other tribes.”

In addition to locally focused energy information, the agenda features presentations from DOE and other federal, state, tribal, and industry experts, as well as several highly interactive sessions led by technical experts from DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

Jana Ganion of the Blue Lake Rancheria and Brian Adkins of the Bishop Paiute Tribe will share their tribal energy development experience, insights, and lessons learned. Tribal representatives will also present case studies on renewable energy feasibility studies conducted by the Gila River Indian Community and Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California, solar energy planning and development activities undertaken by the Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians and the Hualapai Tribe, and more!

In addition to learning from the experiences of other tribes, attendees will explore the ins and outs of developing and financing renewable energy projects on tribal lands, including how to:

  • Assess project potential;
  • Determine technology options;
  • Select the appropriate business structure for their tribe's energy projects;
  • Understand the various financing options;
  • Issue and evaluate requests for proposals; and
  • Plan for project operation and maintenance.

Energy experts from NREL will also provide hands-on instruction in the use of renewable energy performance and financial models, such as the System Advisor Model (SAM), to make informed decisions about renewable energy projects.

The workshop is limited to elected tribal leaders, tribal executives, and tribal staff. There is no cost to attend, but seating is it limited, so attendees must register in advance by emailing tribalworkshops@nrel.gov or calling 303-275-3005.

Learn more about the workshop

The mission of the Office of Indian Energy is to maximize the development and deployment of energy solutions for the benefit of American Indians and Alaska Natives.

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