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Federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Indian Energy, provide grant, loan, and technical assistance programs to support tribal energy projects. Find information about past funding opportunities.

Current Funding Opportunities

Close Date Organization Opportunity
10/28/2016 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 

EPA Smart City Air Challenge
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is challenging communities across the country to collect data using hundreds of air quality sensors as part of the Smart City Air Challenge, and is offering up to $40,000 a piece to two communities to work with their residents to crowdsource air quality data and share it with the public online.

The projects will give individuals a role in collecting the data and an understanding of how environmental conditions affect their health and their community.  Air quality sensors are becoming less expensive and people are beginning to use them to measure pollution levels in their neighborhoods and homes. Communities will figure out where to place the sensors and how to maintain the devices. It is up to each community to decide what pollutants they want to measure.

Eligible entities include must include a governmental party as part of the application team. The geographical extent can range from neighborhoods to counties and Indian tribes. Governmental, non-profit, and for profit organizations are eligible.

10/28/2016 U.S. Department of Homeland Security

FEMA Tribal Policy
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is updating its Tribal Policy that guides how the agency implements a framework for nation-to-nation relations with federally recognized tribal governments that recognizes tribal sovereignty, self-governance, and responsibility consistent with applicable authorities. This updated policy will supersede the current FEMA Tribal Policy, issued in 2013, which expires on December 30, 2016. 

The goal is to update the policy to reflect current authorities, address key policy questions, and improve the Agency’s nation-to-nation relationship with tribal governments to ensure to build, sustain, and improve every tribal governments’ capacity to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate against all hazards.

Tribal officials can submit comments through email, or mail to ATTN: Margeau Valteau, Office of External Affairs (OEA), DHS/FEMA, 500 C Street SW, Washington, DC 20472-3605.

10/31/2016 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Technical Assistance to Tribal Communities Addressing Brownfields Program
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is accepting applications to help tribal governments strengthen their capacity to carry out response activities associated with cleanup of brownfields—sites contaminated with hazardous pollutants. Projects should address linkages between environmental, economic, cultural, and social issues at brownfield sites, such as green revitalization, energy issues, air quality, sustainable development, floodplain mitigation, green building design, and climate impacts.

Eligible applicants include tribal governments.

11/4/2016 Alaska Housing Finance Corporation

Energy Efficiency Kickstarter Competitive Award
The Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC) announced the availability of $150,000 to accelerate energy efficiency project development across Alaska. At least 15 facility owners will receive DOE-funded Energy Efficiency Kickstarter Competitive Awards to assist with implementing near-term energy efficiency upgrades to facilities and community infrastructure with high energy usage and costs.

Eligible applicants include School Districts, Regional Education Attendance Areas, Federally Recognized Tribes, and Municipalities with a population base of 20,000 or less. Funding provided through the United States Department of Energy. Contact Rob Jordan at or 907-330-8115 for more information.

11/6/2016 EPA

Rural Advantage Program - Technical Assistance
The EPA is offering technical assistance to rural communities to develop strategies that help grow the economy and revitalize downtown neighborhoods.

EPA is offering three programs:

  1. Local Foods, Local Places (LFLP) - helps communities leverage local food enterprises to diversify their economy and renew their downtowns
  2. Cool & Connected - helps communities use broadband service to create walkable, connected, economically successful neighborhoods
  3. Healthy Places for Healthy People - a new program that will help communities partner with health care facilities to catalyze downtown revitalization and to improve options for healthy living and economic opportunity.

Eligible entities include rural communities.

11/15/2016 Aspen Institute  Champions for Change Leadership Program
The Center for Native American Youth, a policy program at the Aspen Institute, is now accepting nominations and applications for its Champions for Change leadership development program. Tribal leaders, teachers, coaches, school administrators, parents, Native youth, and others can nominate a young Native leader (ages 14-22) who is making a positive impact in their tribal or urban Indian community.
01/18/2017 AmeriCorps

2017 AmeriCorps State and National Grants
AmeriCorps is accepting applications for the 2017 State and National Grants for two components: operating funds and AmeriCorps member positions. Grant award amounts vary and will generally cover a 3-year project period. 

Eligible entities include state, local, county, special district, and tribal governments; independent school districts; nonprofits; and public housing authorities.

01/31/2017 U.S. Department of Agriculture

Rural Energy for America Program - Renewable Energy Systems & Energy Efficiency Improvement Loans & Grants
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is providing guarenteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements.

Eligible areas include businesses must be in an area other than a city or town with a population of greater than 50,000 inhabitants and the urbanized area of that city or town. Eligible applicants include agricultural producers and rural small businesses, which may include tribal business entities, rural electric cooperatives and public power entities.

Ongoing Opportunities

This list provides information on technical assistance, funding, and renewable energy credits for tribal energy projects from a variety of U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and federal government programs. To explore current opportunities available to tribes, click on the titles of the solicitations below.

NC GreenPower Open RFP for Carbon Offsets and RECs

NC GreenPower is seeking proposals for projects that mitigate greenhouse gases; projects that reduce emissions indirectly from displaced electricity are not eligible. Priority will be given to purchasing carbon offsets from participating utility service territories in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia.

In addition, NC GreenPower is accepting bids for renewable energy credits (RECs) associated with renewable energy generated in North Carolina and supplied to the North Carolina electric grid. These bids provide NC GreenPower with a portfolio of available renewable energy projects to offer to NC GreenPower customers who purchase $15,000 or more annually on renewable energy credits (called a Brokered Bid). This is an ongoing, open-bid process for the Brokered Bid product only and includes any eligible renewable energy project, including large solar PV (over 5.0 kW) and large wind (over 10.0 kW).

USDA Community Facilities Direct Loan & Grant Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is accepting applications to develop essential community facilities in rural areas. Eligible areas including cities, villages, townships, and towns, including tribal lands, with no more than 20,000 residents. Funds can be used to purchase, construct, and/or improve essential community facilities, purchase equipment, and pay related expenses.

DOE Office of Indian Technical Assistance

The DOE Office of Indian Energy provides federally recognized Indian Tribes, including Alaska Native villages, tribal energy resource development organizations, and other organized tribal groups and communities, with technical assistance to advance tribal energy projects. 

Technical experts from DOE, DOE's national laboratories, and others are available to provide up to 40 hours of in-depth support, including strategic energy planning and project development support.

The goal of the technical assistance is to address a specific challenge or fulfill a specific need that is essential to a current project's successful implementation. The intended result is a tangible product or specific deliverable designed to help move the project forward.

Indian Land Tenure Foundation Grants

The Indian Land Tenure Foundation has several grants available for tribes focusing on education, cultural awareness, economic opportunity, or legal reform. The Foundation creates grants to Indian nations and nonprofit organizations, and work closely with several affiliate organizations, who share our mission and goals.

USDA Emergency Community Water Assistance Grants

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is accepting applications to assist rural communities that have experienced a significant decline in quantity or quality of drinking water due to an emergency, or in which such decline is considered imminent, to obtain or maintain adequate quantities of water that meets the standards set by the Safe Drinking Water Act. This emergency is considered an occurrence of an incident such as, but not limited to, a drought, earthquake, flood, tornado, hurricane, disease outbreak, or chemical spill.

DOI Indian Loan Guaranty, Insurance, and Interest Subsidy Program

The U.S. Department of the Interior’s (DOI’s) Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development is accepting loan applications on an ongoing basis through the Indian Loan Guaranty, Insurance, and Interest Subsidy Program. Operated by 12 Bureau of Indian Affairs regional offices cross the country in coordination with the Division of Capital Investment in Washington, D.C., the program is aimed at spurring the development of viable Indian businesses through conventional lender financing. Tribes or individuals simply apply for a loan through any lender that regularly engages in making loans; in cases where the lending institution would not otherwise approve a borrower’s loan application, the lender may apply for a loan guaranty. By helping reduce the risk incurred by lenders, the program helps borrowers secure financing that might otherwise be unavailable. Eligible entities include federally recognized Tribes and Alaska Native groups.p>

IRS Clean Renewable Energy Bonds

The Internal Review Service (IRS) is accepting applications for a volume cap of up to $800 million to finance the costs of a qualified renewable energy facility or facilities, such as wind, closed- or open-loop biomass, geothermal, solar, small irrigation, and other facilities. The application must indicate the expected date of construction and when each facility will be placed in service. Eligible applicants include governmental bodies, including Tribes, and cooperative electric companies.

USDA Biomass Crop Assistance Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) incentives will resume this summer. The incentives will assist farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners with growing, maintaining, and harvesting biomass that can be used for energy or bio-based products. Farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners can also receive financial assistance to grow biomass crops that will be converted into energy in selected BCAP project areas. New BCAP project area proposals will be solicited beginning this summer and accepted through fall 2015, with new project area announcements and enrollments taking place in early spring 2016. Once the call for solicitations is announced, Tribes will need to review the eligibility to ensure they qualify.