WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs announced today that it has selected 13 tribal energy projects to receive funding of $7.8 million.
Through these grants, the Office of Indian Energy will continue its efforts to maximize the development and deployment of energy solutions in consultation with American Indians and Alaska Natives. These awards will install energy systems on tribal buildings and on a community scale for beneficiary tribes and Alaska Native villages, which provided matching funds to implement these projects. These selections are the result of a competitive funding opportunity announced November 14, 2016.
“These projects, consistent with President Trump’s America First Energy Plan and the vision Secretary Perry has for Indian Country, will install 6.3 megawatts of new energy generation for more than 3,000 tribal buildings and homes across the nation, and save benefitted communities more than $2 million each year,” said Office of Indian Energy Director William Bradford. “These energy development and efficiency projects will provide economic benefits to American Indian tribes and Alaskan Native villages for many years to come."
The Office of Indian Energy promotes tribal energy sufficiency and fosters economic development and employment on tribal lands by providing tribal communities with the knowledge, skills, and resources needed to harness their indigenous energy resources, develop energy, reduce energy costs, create jobs, build resilience, and implement successful strategic energy solutions. Since 2002, DOE has invested more than $66.5 million in more than 200 tribal energy projects valued at more than $126 million, provided technical assistance to Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages to evaluate and develop their energy resources, and provided education and training to help build the human capacity that is essential to launch energy projects that promote enduring tribal sovereignty and prosperity.
The projects competitively selected to receive funding today in alphabetical order are as follows:
Akwesasne Housing Authority
The Akwesasne Housing Authority will create three “net-zero” buildings by installing energy efficiency measures and 161.5 kilowatts (kW) of solar photovoltaics (PV), reducing annual energy costs by approximately $36,200. Two of the buildings are part of a tribal affordable housing development that will provide on-site services to tribal veterans, elders, and their families; the third is an existing building that houses the Akwesasne Boys & Girls Club.
Requested DOE Funding: $500,000; Proposed Cost Share: $1,008,630
Alaska Village Electric Cooperative (Joint Venture with Bethel Native Corporation)
The project will install a 75-meter wind turbine to produce 900 kW of energy and connect to the existing diesel power generation system serving three intertied communities (Bethel, Oscarville, and Napakiak). The turbine is expected to produce 2,370 megawatt-hours (MWh) of energy annually for more than 6,600 rural Alaskans in approximately 2,900 buildings, and will reduce the amount of diesel fuel used by approximately 170,280 gallons annually for a savings of up to $1,106,000 each year, reducing the cost of power over the 20-year life of the project by approximately $18 Million.
Requested DOE Funding: $796,216; Proposed Cost Share: $4,071,921
Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation
This project supports the energy independence and resiliency goals of the Tribes by installing LED lighting and 97 kW of solar PV, supplying power for three buildings. LED lighting will account for an estimated annual power savings of 23,635 kilowatt-hours (kWh), or about 16% of the total electricity consumed by the three buildings, while the PV array will further decrease the annual power demand by approximately 125,568 kWh.
Requested DOE Funding: $133,706; Proposed Cost Share: $133,706
Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians
The project will construct a 700-kW solar PV project to offset the energy demand for four buildings on the reservation. The system is expected to generate 1,007,340 kWh and annual savings of $99,122, based on a blended electrical rate of $0.0984/kWh.
Requested DOE Funding: $1,000,000; Proposed Cost Share: $1,000,000
Forest County Potawatomi Community
The Tribe is implementing a long-term energy goal and vision of being energy independent, using renewable, carbon-free, or carbon-neutral energy. To that end, the Tribe will install a total of 55 solar PV energy systems with a cumulative generation capacity of approximately 734 kW. The project would include system installations on 50 tribal homes and five community and government buildings, resulting in savings of more than $70,000 annually.
Requested DOE Funding: $1,000,000; Proposed Cost Share: $1,000,000
Graton Economic Development Authority
Rohnert Park, CA
The project will install 1.5 megawatts (MW) of rooftop solar PV on four tribally owned buildings to reduce overall energy usage by an estimated 13%, empowering the Tribe and its citizens to become more self-reliant and providing increased opportunities for them to be successful.
Requested DOE Funding: $100,0000; Proposed Cost Share: $2,567,763
The project will install 281 kW of solar PV and a 5 kW wind turbine, which will increase clean energy production on the Winnebago Reservation by approximately 280% and reduce retail electrical consumption by approximately 27%.
Requested DOE Funding: $357,017; Proposed Cost Share: $357,018
The project will install 29 kW of solar PV and passive thermal solar efficiency measures on the Tribe's Live Work building, reducing costs associated with electrical consumption and supplying excess power for the community. The system is projected to offset 29% of estimated monthly consumption, resulting in approximately $4,000 in electrical savings annually.
Requested DOE Funding: $37,500; Proposed Cost Share: $37,500
Huslia Tribal Council
This community-scale biomass project will heat 60% of the community's buildings, create up to 12 part-time jobs, and save $57,000 annually in heating costs. This project will significantly contribute to meeting the Huslia Tribal Council’s Renewable Portfolio Standard of achieving 25% diesel displacement in community facilities by 2025.
Requested DOE Funding: $383,167; Proposed Cost Share: $404,951
This project will reduce the overall energy use in three tribally owned buildings by 21.8% and stabilize operational costs. Activities include installing LED lighting, programmable thermostats, occupancy sensors, high-efficiency variable speed pumps, and a 6-kW roof-mounted solar PV system on each building for a total of 18 kW. The project is expected to save an estimated $21,546 in annual electricity and fuel oil expenses.
Requested DOE Funding: $97,577; Proposed Cost Share: $124,623
Spokane Indian Housing Authority
The Spokane Indian Housing Authority will install approximately 637 kW of solar PV, serving 14 community buildings and an estimated 24% of the community's total energy load. The project is projected to reduce community energy costs by at least $2.8 million over the 35-year life of the PV systems.
Requested DOE Funding: $1,000,000; Proposed Cost Share: $1,013,181
The project will reduce the energy consumption of the 80,000-square-foot airport facility on the island of St. Paul, Alaska, by approximately 54% through deep energy retrofits, and increase the contribution of wind power from 35% to 65% by installing an additional 900-kW wind turbine. This will reduce diesel fuel purchases by an estimated $239,000 per year.
Requested DOE Funding: $500,000; Proposed Cost Share: $1,297,265
Ute Mountain Ute Tribe
Ute Mountain Ute Tribe will construct a 1-MW community-scale solar PV facility as its first solar development project. The system will offset at least 10% of the Tribe’s overall energy usage beginning in year one, impact more than 75 tribal buildings, and save an estimated $157,440 annually.
Requested DOE Funding: $973,820; Proposed Cost Share: $1,190,224
Amounts shown are subject to negotiation.
To learn about DOE's recent investments in tribal communities, visit the Office of Indian Energy's project successes page.