On Feb. 15, 2024, the Office of Indian Energy hosted the first webinar of the 2024 Tribal Energy Webinar Series: Successful Grant Applications for Tribal Clean Energy Projects.

In this webinar recording, learn how to plan for and prepare a successful grant application from two Tribal communities. Representatives from the Oneida Indian Nation and Forest County Potawatomi Community walked us through their planning process and shared tips for submitting successful clean energy grant applications.

The Office of Indian Energy also shared current and upcoming funding opportunities, an overview of our no-cost technical assistance for Tribes, and an update on the Indian Energy Purchase Preference impacting Tribal engagement with utilities.

Presentation Slides

Webinar Recording & Transcript

Video Url
Representatives from the Oneida Indian Nation and Forest County Potawatomi Community share their planning process and tips for submitting successful clean energy grant applications.
Office of Indian Energy

Jump to each section: (links open in YouTube, or you can manually skip to the timecode in the webinar player on this page)

  • 01:48 Office of Indian Energy and Funding Opportunities Overview
  • 21:17 Technical Assistance for Tribes
  • 37:24 Indian Energy Purchase Preference Updates
  • 56:36 Grant Project Process - Oneida Indian Nation 
  • 01:17:54 Strategic Planning - Forest County Potawatomi.

Correction: During the webinar at timecode 1:50:30, a question was asked about community benefits plans (CBPs) for tax credits. We replied there are no CBPs for tax credits, which is not fully accurate. Some tax credits have requirements for prevailing wage, apprenticeship, and benefits flowing to communities (e.g. Section 48c, 48e) which have similar intent as the CBP requirements for DOE grants. 

 

BRANDON KIGER: Welcome, everyone. I'm Brandon Kiger, today's webinar host. I am a contractor supporting the Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs Tribal Energy Webinar series. Today's webinar, titled Successful Grant Applications for Tribal Clean Energy Projects, is the first webinar of the 2024 DOE Tribal Energy Webinar series. Let's go over some event details. 

Today's webinar is being recorded and will be made available on DOE's Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs website in about one week. Copies of today's presentation slides will be posted to the Office of Indian Energy's website shortly after this webinar. Everyone will receive a post-webinar email with a link to the page where the slides and recording will be located. 

Because we are recording this webinar, all phones have been muted. We will answer your written questions at the end of today's final presentation. However, you may submit a question at any time by clicking on the question button located in the Webinar control panel on your screen. 

Let's get started with opening remarks in a presentation from Lizana Pierce. Ms. Pierce is a Senior Engineer and the Deployment Supervisor for the Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs. She is stationed here in Golden, Colorado. She is responsible for the execution of the deployment program, which is national in scope. 

Specifically, the deployment program includes financial assistance, technical assistance, and education and outreach. She also implements national funding opportunities and administraters some of the resultant Tribal Energy Project grants and agreements. She has nearly 30 years of experience in project development and has been assisting Tribes in developing their energy resources for 25 years. Ms. Pierce holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Colorado State University. Lizana, the virtual floor is now yours. 

LIZANA PIERCE: Thank you, Brandon. You always make me feel old when you start reading those years. But anyway, welcome everyone for joining the webinar today. 

This webinar series is sponsored by the Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs, otherwise referred to as the Office of Indian Energy. This year's webinar series is titled Tribes Leading the Way in the Clean Energy Transition. Great strides have been made in recent years to help provide greater financial support to foster relationships between federal agencies and tribal governments. 

The most recent examples are the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, or BIL, and the Inflation Reduction Act, otherwise known as IRA, and the recent Presidential Executive Order on Reforming Federal Funding and Support for Tribal Nations, and the US secretary's reaffirming commitment to buy tribal energy. Last year's Tribal Energy Series focused on the unprecedented amount of funding going towards climate change solutions through landmark legislation such as BIL and IRA and how tribes can participate in the clean energy transition. This year's webinar series will continue to provide information on funding and financing while also providing case studies on how tribes are leading the way. 

Additionally, the 2024 series will include information on tools, resources, and also those funding and financing opportunities to help you participate. We hope the webinar series as a whole is useful to you, but we also welcome your feedback. So please let us know if there are ways we can make this series better. 

You can send any feedback to our main email at indianenergy@hq.doe.gov. And before we move on to the other presentations, I wanted to provide an overview of the Office of Indian Energy and introduce you to our team. OK, thank you, Joe. 

So first, I want to introduce Wahleah Johns. She is the Director of the Office of Indian Energy. She is a member of the Navajo Nation. And she comes from Northeastern Arizona. 

Her background is in renewable energy and community organization. And under her tenure, the Office of Indian Energy's budget has more than tripled from 22 million in fiscal year 2021 to 75 million in 2023. This growth provides additional funding to support tribal communities in pursuing their energy sovereignty and energy goals and also includes increased staff resources to help you in reaching those goals. 

David Conrad is a citizen of the Osage Nation. He serves as our Deputy Director. Prior to that, he was with the Department of Interior, Public Affairs. And before that, he actually worked in Congressional Affairs at DOE and for a brief period of time as acting deputy for the Office of Indian Energy. Mr. Conrad has 20 years of Intergovernmental affairs experience in energy, environmental, economic development, and natural and cultural resources. Next slide, please. 

I just wanted to give you-- this is a picture taken last August. We've grown since then. But you'll see the leadership here in the front, and then our federal staff and contractor support. 

The Office is currently comprised of 18 federal employees, including two who are on detail, and, of course, our contractor support. Our members of the team are located in DC, of course, and Colorado, Florida, Oregon, Oklahoma, Wyoming, Nevada, Alaska, and probably missed a few places. But nevertheless, we are spread across the United States. Next slide, please. 

I just briefly wanted to introduce you to the Office's federal staff, myself, and Tommy Jones, who's my Deputy. He's an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, Knock-Knock village, and is a Native shareholder of Bristol Bay Native Corporation of Alaska. He's currently on detail to headquarters. 

Tweedle Doe, who is our Lead Project Officer, who has extensive experience working with tribes-- and prior to joining DOE about 15 or so years ago, she worked for the Council of Energy Resource Tribes, or CERT, which is where I first met her. We also have Mike Stevenson, which you'll hear from a little bit later on technical assistance. He's our Lead Engineer. And as I said, he manages the technical assistance, and whom some of you may have known when he was with the Department of Interior, Division of Energy and Minerals. 

I have Josh Gregory. He is also an engineer and DOE project officer. Prior to joining DOE, he also worked as a Division of Energy and Minerals with Mike. 

And lastly, we have Mike Vehar, an engineer as well as a project officer. He oversees grants and assist tribes and tribal entities with their project. Mike had also worked with us quite a number of years ago doing the tribal energy efficiency and conservation block grants back in the [INAUDIBLE] days. So he's come back to his forever home, as we say. 

Additionally, as part of our deployment team, we have 11 contractors who help us execute financial assistance, help us, and help you. With the financial assistance, technical assistance, and the education and outreach. Next slide, please. Just quickly because I want to give Karen and Jerry plenty of time-- we do work in partnership with our fantastic contractor staff from Lindahl Reed and Boston Government Services. I'm on the contractor side. The team leader Jen Luna. 

And we have Jami Alley who's worked with me for, I don't know, it looks like forever, 15 or 16 years now. --Sam Baker, who's relatively new, Nathan Ballenger, and Pat Gwin, also new, who's a citizen with the Cherokee Nation. Next slide, please. 

And on this slide, we have James Jensen, Terrell Jones, Alaska native from Deering, Kris Venema, and Roberta (Bobbie) Wells, who's a member of the Northern Arapaho tribe, all project monitors who assist with grants. Kara Wilcox-- she's a member of the Choctaw Nation, and Brandon Kiger, who you heard earlier for the webinar series, our program analysts who work closely with competitive process, metrics resource, special projects and the like. So that's our fantastic team that we're here to help you. Next slide, please. 

As advocated for and-- by the tribes that incorporated the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the Office of Indian Energy was set up. It was one of about a dozen assistant secretarial level offices, and those offices have grown, of course, now with the advent of BIL and IRA. The Office authorized by Congress and charged by Congress is to promote Indian Energy development efficiency and use, reduce or stabilize energy costs, enhance and strengthen Indian tribal energy and economic infrastructure, and bring electric power and service to Indian lands and homes. 

To aid us in accomplishing this mission, the Office does receive insights on issues affecting energy and infrastructure development on tribal lands through the Indian country energy and infrastructure working group comprised of tribal leaders across the nation and from listening sessions and other feedback we receive. You'll see on some of these there are a few examples of co-founded projects that we've had the pleasure to participate in. I won't go through those now in the essence of time. Next slide, please. 

As I mentioned earlier, to achieve our mission and address the barriers, the Office of Indian Energy offers practical assistance, typically through competitive grants, technical assistance offered at no charge to Indian tribes and tribal entities, and education and capacity building. These three prongs are intended to assist Indian tribes and tribal entities overcome those unique regulatory, tactical, and economic challenges to developing their vast energy resource if and how they so choose. Mike Stephenson will provide you information on technical assistance. Next. 

So I'm going to focus on the funding opportunity and associated resources. Next slide, please. So last year, the Office committed 72 million to 21 tribal energy projects across the country, which builds on investments of over 120 million to more than 200 tribal energy projects across the contiguous 48 states in Alaska. And those projects are valued at $250 million. 

Through these grants, the Office of Indian Energy continues its efforts and partnership with Native communities to maximize the deployment of clean Energy Solutions for the benefit of American Indians and Alaska Natives. Specifically, those hardware deployment projects benefited over 100 Native communities and resulted in nearly 46mw of new generation. Nearly 315 million were saved over the life of those systems collectively, and savings of $3.38 for every dollar that invested and affected 8,000 nearly 8,800 tribal buildings across the country. 

This particular figure on the slide is that of the online interactive map. We have summaries of all of those projects and the final reports that they've closed out as well. Next slide, please. 

These are just some stats on financial assistance. Since 2009, our Office has made 18 funding opportunity announcements, and nearly 700 applications accepted. This is between 2010 and 2022. 

And we've had the privilege of funding over 300 of those or 32.5% of all the applications, which I frankly believe is a pretty high percentage considering the average, therefore, liable for Doe was probably 5% to 10% of all applications. So we've been blessed to have funds to invest in your communities. Next slide, please. 

I didn't want to bring to your attention that we have an upcoming funding opportunity announcement for the deployment of clean energy technology on tribal lands. The notice of intent was issued in January, and the actual funding opportunity is expected this spring, so stay tuned. You can see the notice of intent and additional information on our website. That. Next slide, please. 

I also wanted to let you know that we are soliciting under the Clean Energy Innovator Fellowship program. The intent of that program is to increase access to tribal clean energy career opportunities and accelerate the national transition to resilient and affordable clean energy. Currently, the Office of Indian Energy is looking for entities interested in hosting fellows. 

Applications are being accepted through March 5th. Raymond from our team-- he is going to provide you some more information on that in his presentation. Next slide, please. 

I'm not going to go over each of these, but just to give you a sense of the information not only on our website, we do also have a weekly funding flyer, as we call it, various opportunities specific-- relative to tribes and tribal energy development. I'll give you just a moment to look through some of those great, great opportunities. Next slide, please. 

Again, the tribal energy financing through the loan program office that's available, as well as some of the BIL and IRA funding from not only DOE but other federal agencies that we track. Next slide, please. You can access tribal energy-related opportunities through Doe and other agencies on our current funding opportunities page on the Office of Indian Energy website. And as I said, you can also download the funding flyer shown here, which is updated weekly. Next slide, please. 

So in addition to those resources, there's also the Clean Energy Infrastructure Program funding opportunities, and it identifies opportunities for the $97 billion through BIL and IRA, and then also a more general website, which I think is terrific. And it includes the information all across the federal government and possible funding opportunities or energy. On the Energy Funding Opportunities page, they have competitive opportunities, tax credits, state-based funding, and funding clearinghouse, which is supported by eligible recipients. I don't know. 

I think it's a wonderful resource for tribes as well. And I didn't have them here, but also the Department of Interior has their clearinghouse of information with tribal-specific opportunities. Next slide, please. 

So I want to thank you. Thank you all for your time and attention. There's some wonderful presentations upcoming. If you have questions, you can reach out to us on our main helpdesk phone number and email, and we can hopefully help direct you to resources through our office across the Department and other agencies. And you're welcome to join us on Twitter and Facebook at DOE Indian Energy. 

And with that, I am going to turn it back to Brandon. Before I do, I do want to thank all of the presenters for their time today and their willingness to share their expertise and give of their time. Thank you. Brandon. 

BRANDON KIGER: Thanks, Lizana. Before we get started with the remaining presentations, I first want to introduce you to the other presenters for today. We just heard from Lizana. 

Our next speaker is Mike Stevenson. And he is an engineer and technical assistance lead for the Office of Indian Energy. Mike has worked with many tribes for the last 10 years as they have pursued clean energy deployment, the majority of those projects relating to tribes determining the feasibility for microgrid deployment or utility formation activities. 

Prior to joining DOE, Mike worked for the Department of Interior under the Division of Energy and Mineral Development. While with DEMD, Mike helped tribes explore both energy resources and capacity development by providing technical assistance and administering financial assistance through DEMDs two grant programs. Mike holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Colorado and a Master's degree in Infrastructure Planning and Management from the University of Washington. 

Following Mike's presentation, we will hear from Raymond, otherwise known as "Studie" RedCorn. "Studie" serves as a policy analyst for the US Department of Energy Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs. Before joining the Office of Indian Energy, Raymond served as a Science and Technology Policy Fellow for the American Association for the Advancement of Science and working in the US Senate with tribes and municipalities on issues related to energy and the environment. He also has worked as a postdoc researcher and instructor at the University of Washington and as a civil engineer designing wastewater treatment facilities. He received his PhD in Agriculture and Biological Engineering from Purdue University, and a Master's in Ecological Science and Engineering from Purdue University, and a BS in Civil Engineering from the University of Kansas. Raymond is a citizen of Osage Nation and a member of the Gentle Sky Peacekeeper clans. 

Next, we will hear from Karen Six and Bryan Mignone with the Oneida Indian Nation. Karen currently serves as Oneida Indian Nation's Grant Administrator. She has been writing grants since 1994 while working as a teacher of middle school English. 

She transitioned to the management of nonprofit organizations where grants were the primary source of funding. Over the past 30 years, she has written and administered grants from federal, state, and private entities for many special interest areas, including adult education, workforce development, disability services, youth programs, literacy and libraries. For the past four years, she has been the Grant Administrator for the Oneida Indian Nation, working on grant projects from a variety of federal agencies. 

Bryan Mignone is a Deputy General Counsel in the Oneida Indian Nation National Legal Department. Bryan joined Oneida in 2006 as an attorney and was promoted in 2014 to Senior Attorney, later to Associate then Deputy General Counsel, with responsibility for Oneida's Grant Administration Department and Operations. Mr. Mignone has served as the DOE's Point of Contact for Oneids's awards-- grant awards and oversees compliance with the terms of the grant for the project. Prior to working with Oneida, Bryan worked as a mergers and acquisition corporate attorney in the New York City Office of the international firm of Weil, Gotshal Manges, LLP. He graduated cum laude from the New York University School of Law and received his Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resources from Cornell University. 

And finally, we will hear from Jerry Hauber with the Forest County Potawatomi Community. Jerry Hauber is an Energy Manager for Forest County Potawatomi Community and has over 15 years in renewable energy space. His expertise is in strategic planning, which has helped to secure substantial energy grants through the years, including multi-million dollar projects in energy efficiency and solar. Jerry has his BA in Business Administration from Oklahoma State University and his MBA from the Bradford School of Management. 

Thank you to each of the presenters for making the time to join us today. And as a reminder, please feel free to submit a question at any time by clicking on the question button located in the webinar control panel on your screen and typing in your question. We will answer your written questions at the end of today's final presentation. With that, let's get started with our next presentation. Mike, you may proceed once your slides are up. 

MIKE STEVENSON: Thank you. Great. Thank you very much, Brandon. 

It's a pleasure to have the opportunity to present about our technical assistance offerings today. We have many available resources. And I just feel incredibly blessed to be able to talk with tribes daily about advancing your clean energy projects and goals with this program. So let's get into it. Next slide, please. 

So technical assistance. Technical assistance is quite the federal agency buzzword these days. Everybody's talking about technical assistance, and it means something very different to everybody. The Office of Indian Energy has been providing no cost technical assistance to tribes for many years. 

To us, technical assistance addresses a specific challenge or fulfills a need that is essential to advancing a clean energy project. The output of this effort is a tangible product or specific deliverable, and we work with you to create a very specific scope of work and deliverable to get you closer to a go/no-go decision. And that's what technical assistance is to us. Next slide, please. 

We have five main areas that we can provide no-cost technical assistance to tribes. Clean energy planning, energy efficiency assessments, resource assessments, clean energy project planning, and building codes and utility information. We will take a deeper dive into each of these areas in the next few slides. 

The graphic on this slide is from a recently completed energy plan and options analysis report for Nulato Village. It was completed by Elaine from the Alaska Native tribal Health Consortium. This effort was completed through our technical assistance, which is to say a long time was sponsored by the Office of Indian Energy at no cost to Nulato Village. Next slide, please. 

All right, so clean energy planning. Clean energy planning is by far one of our most popular areas of assistance. Clean Energy Planning acts as the foundation for transitioning to a clean energy future. Support is designed to assist in understanding energy resources, identifying an energy vision, understanding energy options and priorities, and developing a viable roadmap for the successful completion of a project. 

So there's a reason this is one of our most popular services. Strategic energy plans, if done well and right, can truly be cornerstones for tribes as they pursue clean energy deployment. But in order for this to be the case, there needs to be significant tribal stakeholder participation in this process. 

Examples of this would include tribal leadership, IHS health care folks, representatives from school district, emergency services, housing authority, water, wastewater. The list truly goes on and on. --anybody with a large commercial load, gaming, et cetera. 

These efforts need fingerprints all over them from the entire community to be adopted and bought into, allowing them to survive administration changes and truly represent the tribe's long-term energy vision. That is the goal of this effort. Please know going into requesting the service that it requires significant time and attention from key folks in the community. However, if you're willing to make that investment, you'll have a really great plan to build from. Next slide, please. 

We also provide energy efficiency assessments. Energy efficiency assessments assist with quantifying current energy usage in individual buildings or community-wide systems and identifying potential efficiency solutions and cost savings. The graphic on this slide is from a recent energy audit completed through our technical assistance by Dave and [INAUDIBLE] Alaska for Twin Hills Village, same thing by DOE Indian Energy sponsored Dave, Vanessa's time and travel to complete this effort at no cost to Twin Hill Village-- Twin Hills Village, excuse me. Next slide, please. 

We also provide resource assessments. Resource assessments review, which renewable energy resources are available and viable to best meet your energy goals. Resources include but are not limited to solar, wind, biomass, water for hydropower, and geothermal. 

I've also attached a link on this slide to the Tribal Energy Atlas, which Indian Energy sponsors. And it's a great resource online that you can experiment with to see the different resource potentials for your community. You can also simply Google "Tribal Energy Atlas." It should be the first link that pops up. Next slide, please. 

Another popular service that we provide is clean energy project planning. Clean energy planning provides expert guidance and analysis to address specific barriers you may face developing a clean energy projects. Types of support offered include modeling and analysis, third-party reviews, technology options advice, economic evaluations, and other project-specific assessments. 

We have a lot of communities take advantage of the microgrid resiliency planning that we can provide through this service with either REopt or HOMER. Next slide, please. Finally, we also offer building codes and utility formation services. 

Building codes and utility formation can help you navigate through governance questions relevant to project development. The graphic on this slide is from a recent pre-utility feasibility report completed for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation by Margie Shoaf. This work was completed through our technical assistance, again, at no cost to the tribe. 

This is also a good time to mention that the findings of all of our technical assistance efforts are not made available to the public. All technical assistance efforts are confidential as their pre-development activities, and we do not share any of these findings. They are held in confidence between the requester, the Department of Energy, and our TA partners that execute the efforts. Next slide, please. 

This slide basically speaks to-- we talk a lot. I talk a lot. If you know me, you know I talk a lot. 

We talked with other DOE offices, we talk with other federal offices. We talk with anybody who is in the tribal energy development arena. And we have a very vast contact list. Probably the best service we provide is the initial scoping call, where we discuss where you are in the development process and points you towards the most appropriate resources available. 

We pride ourselves in wanting to be your first phone call and helping you navigate the tremendous amount of funding and assistance available to you. Next slide, please. We just simply have the best partnerships that allow us to complete some really beneficial work towards tribal Clean, energy deployment, whether it's Aaron Cooke [INAUDIBLE] in Alaska, Sandra Begay at Sandia, Dustin [INAUDIBLE], Katia, and their team at ANTHC or Liz Weber, her amazing group at the National Renewable Energy Lab, and, of course, Miss Katie Conway and the great team at the Denali Commission. 

We are truly incredibly blessed to work with some wonderful partners who make our projects a priority, which enables us to provide tribes with quality deliverables in a timely manner. We are absolutely incredibly fortunate to collaborate with this group. There are others as well, but these folks complete the lion's share of the TA efforts. Next slide, please. 

Now, they're not fun slides. Here's the things that we don't do. We do not provide funding. There is no money that flows from DOE to the tribes for technical assistance. 

We sponsor the subject matter experts' time in any associated travel to complete the efforts. We do not provide legal advice. This includes tax advice. 

We do not provide detailed engineering designs. There needs to be a third-party consultant contractor between our TA efforts and our deployment grant funding that completes detailed design. We can, however, connect you with offices that have resources available to complete this type of work. 

And finally, we do not prepare grant applications as part of our technical assistance. Aside from these four major bullets, we really do our best to accommodate requests and ensure folks aren't leaving empty-handed. We can usually connect tribes to other resources if they have a request that we can not entertain because it's too far outside of our scope, but that's truly a very rare occurrence. We can usually find one of our many services that will provide some benefit to advancing a project. Next slide, please. 

How to apply for the technical assistance-- we try to make this as easy to access as possible. You simply have to click here to request technical assistance button on our web page, and it will open to an email with very few simple questions, who you are, what tribe or tribal entity you are requesting for, what is the request, and any pertinent past related efforts, as well as time frame needed for the deliverable. 

This starts the ball rolling, and we try to then schedule a follow-on scoping call within a couple of weeks. That scoping call ends up being really beneficial. At this point, we dig into what the need is and how we can provide effective assistance. We get a much better sense of where the project is at and talk through together the available resources we have for you to utilize, and we form a plan for how we get from current state to where you want to be. Next slide, please. 

This slide is simply showing the geographic distribution of our technical assistance efforts. As you can see, we've completed many requests across the country with maps a bit outdated. We had a very busy 2023 and need to work to get updated numbers. I expect they would increase fairly significantly. Next slide, please. 

So as I mentioned earlier, we don't typically talk much about technical assistance success stories as the efforts are confidential. I do have a great example today to share, and it is one of many that has greatly benefited a tribe as they pursued a significant clean energy project. I do have permission to highlight technical assistance we did for the Louden tribe and Galena Village. 

Thank you, Louise, for allowing me to highlight this effort today. Also, thank you for your kind words that you may not have known. I was going to quote on the slide, but it was so quotable I couldn't not use it. 

And so, Louden tribe approached Indian Energy Technical Assistance for solar resource assessment back around 2018. And then, a follow-on to have folks from the National Renewable Energy Lab review an initial design, which was heavily influenced by Tesla. General staff completed the design review, gave the thumbs up for the sanity check. 

This progressed to the point where we don't fund with TA for final design and led to partnership efforts with Galena, the tribe, other stakeholders, Tanana Chiefs Conference, private consulting firms as they develop that final design, which then they were able to come back to the Department of Energy-- Indian Energy and successfully be awarded a grant for $3.25 million as well as significant funding from USDA Rural Development, the Alaska Energy Authority, and the Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund all to develop a 1.5mw solar project in the community of Galena, Alaska. Additionally, when I was talking with Luis about this project, he mentioned-- so Luis also came to us last year and asked us to assess solar battery and EV charging sizing at the tribal admin building in Galena. 

And he noted the final report for that effort, which was provided by National Renewable Energy Lab staff, had been very useful for him as he's applying to different funding sources to make that project a reality as well. Again, I want to thank Luis, the Louden tribe, and the City of Galena for allowing me to speak to their project, some today. We have many very similar success stories from our TA program. 

We bring fantastic, experienced partners to the table to add credibility to the effort as it progresses towards completion. And we feel very fortunate and blessed to be able to fill this space. Next slide, please. 

And that's my time. This is my contact information. Please do not hesitate to connect with me. I love talking to folks about energy projects, and I'm happy to talk with you about how we can help yours. Thank you for the opportunity to present today. It's very much appreciated. 

BRANDON KIGER: Thanks, Mike. Next, we're going to get started with Studie's presentation. He's going to be discussing this latest memo from the Secretary on the Indian power purchase preference and then go over some community benefit plan negotiations information. So Studie, you may proceed. Thanks. 

RAYMOND "STUDIE" REDCORN: Great presentation, Mike. And thanks for the introduction, Brandon. Go ahead and go to the next slide, and I'll dig into what's going on some latest updates on Indian Energy purchase preference. So Indian Energy Purchase Preference is a statute which gives all federal agencies the have the unique authority to give preference to tribes when buying energy and energy products, so that includes electricity, but it can be much broader. 

Since 2005, when it was first authorized by Congress, it still has not actually been used. And President Biden and the White House Council on Native American Affairs emphasized actually using the preference. And Secretary Granholm issued a memo in December specifically hitting on some points which DOE can be doing, emphasizing some DOE actions which can occur to implement the preference. 

And there's two broad thrusts with this, with the Secretary Granholm's memo. The first is that DOE should help connect tribal energy generation projects to the grid, making it accessible for federal procurement. This not only helps federal agencies access it, but it can also help tribes in how their energy projects move forward. 

And she put emphasis on two areas to achieve this. One is engaging tribes in long-term energy planning and clean energy initiatives where DOE you facilities are near tribes. So you can think of DOE facilities as national labs, and there are some environmental management and cleanup sites which exist well beyond and outside of our facilities in Washington DC. 

And then also she put an emphasis on ensuring transmission and distribution operators that receive DOE funds are meaningfully engaging tribes. So the Grid Deployment Office and some other offices are putting a lot of investment into the grid right now. And as this money flows out the door, this memo tells those offices to ensure that the entities that receive that funding are working with tribes, pursuing, hopefully, positive relationships in part through a tool called community benefit plans. And in the next section, I'll dig deeper into those community benefit plans. 

The second major thrust of the memo was about expanding the application of the preference to the full range of electricity and energy products and byproducts. In the past, the emphasis on the preference has been on just buying electricity. But Congress gave us the authority to go much broader than that. And so there's two ways which we're trying to broaden that. 

One is updating acquisition policies to include carbon pollution-free electricity. So in the past, these acquisition policies were built around renewable energy, which is still going to be part of the picture, but also, when it comes to how DOE is applying the preference, we're going to look to carbon pollution-free electricity as an option as well. So that can include areas of nuclear energy and, say, fossil generation with carbon capture attached to it as well once we get those updated. 

And then in addition, we want to pilot the acquisition of energy-related products and services beyond electricity from tribal majority-owned businesses to inform additional updates to acquisition policies. So one of the-- an example of going beyond just electricity here could be something like renewable energy credits, where right now the federal government is trying to meet Executive Order 14057, which calls on agencies to be 100%, running on 100% clean energy by 2030. And one of the ways that agencies are achieving that is through the purchase of renewable energy credits, which allow us to buy the renewable attribute of power without necessarily having a direct electrical grid connection. So keep an eye out for more updates or opportunities on this to come. 

And next slid. If you have further questions-- Lizana mentioned this email address at the beginning, and I think it's been mentioned a couple of times since indianenergy@hq.doe.gov. 

If you can put "Indian Energy Purchase Preference" in the title with your tribe or organization name, that'll will help us get started. There is other information that helps. But the main thing is feel free to reach out. Next slide. 

So community benefits plans. I just want to give a very brief introduction on community benefits plans, a little bit about what they are, and why they might be driving developers and utilities to reach out to tribes. Next slide. 

So DOE requires a Community Benefits Plan or CBP. We use that acronym a lot, CBP, for all Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act funding opportunities or loan applications. 

So if an applicant is applying to one of the many DOE opportunities out there right now, there's a really good chance that they are required to also submit a community benefits plan. Now, just as a caveat, the Office of Indian Energy for our funding does not require a community benefits plan. One of the reasons we don't require it is Executive Order 14112, where President Biden said we need to reduce barriers for tribes and ensure that funding opportunities are flexible. 

So when tribes are coming specifically to our office, they do not need to file a community benefits plan, but if they are going to other offices, they may have to file a community benefits plan. But in addition to tribes doing community benefits plans when applying to other offices, other entities which are non-tribal may be working on community benefits plans which might involve tribes. So the main thing I'm going to be kind of touching on is when applicants other than tribes are filing community benefits plans that can impact tribes. 

So CBPs encouraged the flow of benefits to disadvantaged communities. And under DOE Justice40 rules, all 574 federally recognized tribes are considered a disadvantaged community. So there's a push to make sure that benefits going out to other applicants are actually reaching communities, including tribes. 

And when an applicant files a project for funding with DOE, the CBP is scored as part of the technical merit review process. So having a stronger community benefits plan can help people, can help applicants get funding . And by extension, involving tribes and engaging the tribes in their process can help them get funding. 

So if you are a tribe that's receiving outreach and it seems like maybe more than usual, some of these CBP requirements may be what's driving that. And once an application is approved and funded, a CBP will be part of the contractual obligation for the funding that is distributed under that application. Next slide, please. 

So what's actually in these community benefits plans that applicants are filing? There's four main goals of Community Benefits Plans, and they become the various sections of the Community Benefits Plan. The first is Justice40. 

President Biden has a goal that under Justice40, that 40% of the total benefits accrue to disadvantaged communities. This does not mean that for any given award that goes out the door, that 40% of the funding is going to go to disadvantaged communities. But it means that overall, the goal is, through from all the funding that goes out the door in these programs, that 40% will reach disadvantaged communities. 

There's also a really big emphasis on quality jobs and skilled workforce. The idea here is to create good-paying jobs that attract and retain skilled workers and ensure that workers have a voice on the job over decisions that affect them. The third thrust is diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. This is ensuring that there's equitable access to the wealth-building opportunities that come from DOE funding that's going out the door. And then the final section, which is most likely to lead to applicants reaching out to tribes is community and labor engagement. 

These plans call for meaningful engagement with community and labor partners, leading to formal agreements. These are community benefits agreements CBAs, which I'll go over next, with accountability to the affected stakeholders. Now, I want to recognize here with this policy that tribes are more than just a stakeholder. 

Tribes are sovereign governments. But within the broader policy here, this is the section which is most likely to-- could push applicants to reach out to tribes. 

In most cases, these community benefits plans are about 20% of the technical merit review projects for project proposals. So again, if an applicant has a stronger community benefits plan, is doing more engagement with communities, it's going to strengthen their ability to get funding from the Department of Energy. Next slide, please. 

So within Community Benefits-- so a Community Benefits Plan is a little bit of a unilateral process. It is the applicant, say, a developer or a utility or somebody looking for DOE funding, saying, "Here's how we plan to engage communities." It's their idea of the process. 

But within that, they can have Community Benefits Agreements, which are formal agreements which require communities to sign on to them. So in exchange for a community signing on to that community benefit agreement, that community lends its support to the project. So both the community and the developer get something out of this agreement. 

Examples of what the community can get, a community can get energy infrastructure. So say if it's a utility or a transmission organization, a community could get a transmission substation out of a much broader project, or it could get a battery storage facility within a much larger project, which benefits everybody as part of that project. Other examples are local and targeted hiring commitments from the developer, environmental monitoring and compliance, co-ownership or profit sharing, educational partnerships, and support for local businesses. 

Now, examples of what the developer might get out of a community benefits agreement. Typically, the community coalition or community organization would agree to support a project with public testimony and written statements. And this can really help a developer because it can reduce the uncertainty and the opposition which might come from a project. 

Oftentimes, developers are taking on risk just exploring a project, especially large-scale projects and having community buy-in in the process reduces that risk and gives them some degree of certainty. I want to emphasize again, that Community Benefits Agreements are not required to be part of Community Benefits Plans. So an applicant is not required to submit a Community Benefits Agreement as part of a DOE funding application, but it does strengthen their overall Community Benefits Plan by showing that there is community buy-in in their project. Next slide, please. 

So when the Department of Energy goes to score these community benefits plans, one of the main things we're looking for, I'm just going to go over the top bullet point here, is for smart milestones in order to hold the developer accountable. Those are the milestones that are listed in the community benefits plan, should be specific. They should be measurable attainable, relevant, and time-based. 

And one thing that I want to acknowledge that we've seen in prior community benefits plans have been submitted to DOE is that tribes have been referred to generically. And one thing that we are working towards in the Department of Energy is ensuring that tribes are referred to specifically, that if a developer says, "We plan to go out and engage with tribes." Well, we want to see the specific tribes that the developer plans to engage with listed in the Community Benefits Plan. So that's something that we're driving for just to ensure that there's some specific accountability as these plans go out. 

I want to acknowledge that this is new for the Department of Energy. So as time goes on, we expect that requirements are going to keep evolving and that reviewers and developers alike are going to get more used to this process. And our hope is certainly that the process improves and that we get more meaningful community benefits plans as time goes on. Next slide, please. 

So one question that tribes might be asking is, how do CBPs and CBAs impact travel consultation because tribes certainly have a right to consultation with the Department of Energy and specific situations. So Community Benefits Plans and Community Benefits Agreements cover the relationship between the applicant and community entities or tribal entities in the case of tribes. Tribal entities can be the tribal government, so the agreement can be with the tribal government, but it could also be with a community within a tribe, say, a chapter house or a village, or it could be a nonprofit or a community group, which works heavily with the tribe but is not the tribal government, whereas consultation is a government to government process, so consultation is the Department of Energy consulting with a tribal government, with tribal leadership. Tribal leadership can't be cut out of that process or shouldn't be cut out of that process. 

So CBPs and CBAs do not impact the tribe's right to consultation, but depending on the specifics of what's in that CBP or CBA, it may impact what is discussed during consultation. So it's something to keep in mind as tribes pursue opportunities. I want to acknowledge that I haven't given a lot of concrete examples-- and it's because we are new to this process in the Department of Energy. 

So we don't have a lot of examples to go by. But as these requirements get attached to funding going out the door, it's certainly something where we expect to build up more examples of what's going on. And right now, the goal is that tribes are aware that when they're approached by developers and other entities that it may be these CBPs that are driving the process. Next slide, please. 

So where can you find CBPs? Right now briefs of Community Benefits Plans are typically hosted on the awarding offices website. So I've provided a link here for the Grid Deployment Office, which has put out a lot of funding in one round and is getting ready to do another round of grid resilience and innovation partnerships. 

You can see all the applicants that have applied. Some of them list specific tribes, and that's great. But we're, of course, always improving this process. You can also ask the awardee if they're willing to share the full copy of their Community Benefits Plan. Next slide, please. 

So that's a little bit about Community Benefits Plans. I also just want to highlight one more opportunity that Lizana touched on at the beginning. We have heard from tribes over and over again that capacity is a major constraint, and we're trying to address that on multiple fronts. 

One of those fronts is the Clean Energy Innovator Fellowship. So we hope to fund about 14 tribal-- 14 fellows, which will be hosted within tribal entities. The tribal entities could be Indian tribes, Alaska native villages, regional and village corporations. It could be a Tribal Energy Office or a tribal utility. It could also be nonprofit, regional intertribal organizations. 

First, those entities apply to host a fellow, and then once they're selected, then Fellows can apply knowing what entities are available to be placed in. It's definitely OK to reach out to prospective fellows or prospective fellows to reach out to tribal entities to apply for this process. 

Right now the first round, which will choose those hosted entities, will-- is expected to close March 5th. So it's open right now. And I think Brandon might drop a link in the chat here in a moment just to make sure that folks have it. 

I want to emphasize that strong host applicants are likely going to have projects where fellows can get experience developing clean energy projects or experience engaging with clean energy development that's happening outside the tribe. That might be impacting the tribe, or the tribe is generally working to transition away from fossil fuels and has a plan to do that. Another element of being a strong applicant is having an identified mentor which can mentor the fellow. And this is again just what we hope our first step is in addressing some of the capacity barriers that tribes are facing. 

This does not just have to be a recent grad. The Fellows do need to have a bachelor's or higher degree, but it can also be a mid-career energy professional that the tribe brings on. These fellows do get funded with competitive stipends, which are based on the cost of living for where they live, the skills and experience and degrees, which they bring, and they also get a professional development allowance. So it's a pretty good deal overall for the fellows, and we hope for the tribes, as well to host them. 

And please feel free to reach out to us in the same email addresses if you have any questions about it. That's all for me. And next slide. 

BRANDON KIGER: Thanks, Studie. Let's move on to our tribal representatives today. Our first discussion will be with Oneida Indian Nation Karen Six, and she'll be discussing the project planning process and how to submit successful grants. Karen, you may proceed once your slides are up. 

KAREN SIX: OK, thank you very much. I'm here to talk about how the Oneida Indian Nation uses its process to develop grant projects. Next slide, please. 

A little bit about the Nation-- it's located in Central New York State on a 300,000-acre reservation right in the middle of the state near Syracuse, if you're familiar with the geography of the state. On Nation lands, Oneida operates numerous governmental programs and services such as health clinic, youth and adult recreation programs, a library, child care center, police department, et cetera, and also business enterprises, the casinos, hotels, restaurants, golf courses, that kind of thing. What you see pictured here is the Oneida flagship property, which is turning Stone Resort Casino. It is the largest user of energy in the entire region, which helps to why energy is a big priority for the Oneida Indian Nation. 

The Nation has a pretty robust grant program. It applies for and receives a lot of federal grants from various entities, including the Department of Energy Office for Indian Energy. Next slide, please. 

The most important thing is goal setting. You have to start with goals. As a community, as a tribe, as an organization, you have identified some broad-scope goals. From those goals, you have to develop plans for achieving those goals. 

So you can be a strategic plan master plan. You can have many strategic plans or master plans, whatever you want to call them. Keep in mind that the development of those plans can be a grant-funded project. Not only the Department of Energy but other federal agencies offer funding to help you develop strategic plans or master plans for different things. 

The Oneida Indian Nation received some funding a few years ago from the Department of Energy to develop its energy master plan. That master plan defines the long-range goals that can be achieved through the implementation of specific projects. Here's where we get to the grant projects.

Those specific projects are what we usually use to apply for grant funding. Those projects, each one of them has goals, objectives, activities, measurable results, and a draft budget that goes with it. So we have, for the energy master plan, a whole list of different projects of varying costs varying return on investment. 

So that's what we're looking at. To achieve those goals, we want to implement these projects. Next, please. 

So then, once you've identified those projects that are going to help you achieve your goals-- excuse me. --you need to find appropriate funding. So if it's an energy project, obviously, you're going to look at the Department of Energy. But you also want to explore other federal agencies that have grant opportunities that are adjacent to your goals because sometimes other federal agencies offer funding opportunities that will work for your project. So you don't have to narrow your scope. 

And look at the funding opportunities from those federal agencies. See what they've funded before. Very often, those funding opportunities are repeated, or similar funding opportunities come out. So what you've seen in the past, you may see something similar in the future that you can start planning for. And again, you want to broaden your scope. Make sure you're looking at lots of different funding opportunities from lots of different agencies. 

Once you look at-- you narrow it down, and you find some funding opportunities, you want to make sure that you discuss those funding opportunities with your project director or whoever's going to be involved with those projects. You also want to make sure that it's the right funding mechanism. 

Are you really looking for grants, or are you looking for pass-through money from your state? Are you looking for something that's going to give you more technical assistance? Like Mike was talking about earlier, maybe you want to look at a cooperative agreement with a federal entity. 

You need to make sure that your goals-- that the funding opportunity that you apply for is going to help you achieve your goals. And, of course, you want to look at the funding amount. Is it a fit for your projects? 

You don't want to change your projects to meet the requirements of the grant because those projects are chosen and they're in your master plan or your strategic plan because they're the ones that are going to help you achieve your goals. But what you can do is take perhaps a $10 million project and break it up into smaller projects, again, that have their own goals, objectives, activities, et cetera, so that you can apply for grants because it's still helping you achieve your long-range goals. You could also combine a bunch of smaller projects to make a bigger project. 

And that's what the Oneida Nation has done a few times. We've gone both ways, gone with a big project that asked for a lot of money and we've gone for grouping together a bunch of smaller projects for grant opportunities. OK, next slide, please. 

So the Notice of Funding Opportunity or the Funding Opportunity Announcement or whatever they're calling it, different agencies call it different things, you want to make sure when you've kind of narrowed it down, you're looking at it you want to read it carefully. Make sure that it's going to match your goals and that your goals match the goals of the funding opportunity. You want to highlight all the important points, whether you do that hard copy or you do it on your computer or something. You want to make sure you highlight because sometimes these notices of funding opportunities can be 100 pages long, and you don't want to forget anything. Make sure you target, you highlight those dates, the required forms, where you can send questions. 

This is very important because if you have a question about what the language in the NOFO, probably other people do as well. And occasionally, there'll be a mistake, or there'll be something in there that's that the federal agency needs to correct, and they need to correct it for everybody. So you want to make sure if you have a question, that you get it out there. 

Next, what I do is to correct-- create a summary of the NOFO. And next slide, please. This is an example of the summary that I use, and it's just a Word table. It's not any big deal. 

But I put in-- this is something I can share with my boss, that my boss can take the leadership, that we can share with the project director. And it's something I keep in front of me during the entire application process as a quick reference. 

So in the beginning, I could have the agency? What's the name of the NOFO? What's the number? So I just have that information quick at my hands. 

The description-- I pretty much copy and paste this right out of the NOFO because whoever reads it needs to be reading the same language I am. So we're all talking about the exact same thing. You don't want-- you want to make sure that you're not injecting your perspective on this instead of exactly what the NOFO is saying. 

You want to make sure you touch on eligibility because eligibility is how big a pool are you swimming in for this one. Are you competing against other Indian tribes, or are you competing against tribes and states and municipalities and nonprofits? The bigger the pool gets, the more competitive it is, and the more your capacity is going to have to keep up with that to be competitive. 

Certainly, you want to know the deadline, the funding levels, the number of awards. Again, it goes back to that. How big is the swimming pool? --the competitiveness of this. 

Funding restrictions. I always put in here something that's unusual. If most federal agencies aren't going to give you pre-award costs, they aren't going to let you pay for lobbying. But it might be particular to this project that you're thinking of for this snowfall if it doesn't include construction costs or you can't include salaries. So you want to make sure that gets in there. 

Cost your requirement, obviously. You need to make sure that commitment is there to make the cost share, and you need to be very clear whether it's a hard-cash cost share or is it in-kind. Can you use salaries from the positions you already have funded? 

Time frame. This is your period of performance, your implementation project. Remember that with the Department of Energy, you're less 12 months are verification period. So your period of performance is actually shorter. You need to make sure that you can work with your staff to make sure they can implement that project in that shorter period. 

Reporting requirements. Everybody should know what the reporting requirements are going to be. And the other box I usually use-- this is for something that's unusual. Maybe I've got an extra form that needs to be in there that don't want to forget about, or there are-- you get bonus points for touching on a particular topic. 

So as I said, this is a summary I complete, I can create and keep it right by my side the whole time during the application process as a reference. Can we go back to the previous slide, please? So after I have that summary, the next thing I do is develop a checklist for all the required forms. Please jump to slide 7. 

So this is a very easy spreadsheet that I created, and I use it. Again, this is with me through the entire application process. It has the NOFO information at the top, and then I've listed all of the required forms for this particular NOFO. And then the notes is anything I need to remember, how many pages, how many files, whatever they've put in there. 

The responsible party-- that's who I need to talk to. Who do I need to get the SF424 information from? Who do I need to get the quotes from? And when did I tell them I need it? It's my due date. 

The completion note. That's mostly my notes. Is it in the file? Is it done? Did I ask Paul for the design, and he told me that I need to talk to BIL? Put that note in there, so don't forget to talk to BIL. 

But again, this is how I track all of those forms. So by the time I'm ready to submit, I should have something in the end, say, in that last column, telling me that they're all complete. OK, can we bounce back to slide 5, please? 

So I've got my summary, I've got my checklist. Go through the NOFO and looking at what the reviewers are looking at. So those review criteria. 

Remember, the reviewers have basically a checklist, and you want them to put a checkmark in every single box on their list one way or another. So you need to be very aware of what they're looking for as you write your application. 

Make sure you get your pertinent dates in your calendar, whether you're using your Outlook calendar or hard copy calendar. Honestly, I do both. I have calendars everywhere because time management is the most important element in getting your application done and complete and getting it-- making it successful. You want to stay organized right from the very beginning of this process. You want to stick to your plan because things always come at you at the last minute. 

Something is always sliding into home the day before you need to submit. So you want to make sure that you're ready for that because you've stuck to your plan, you have everything settled, so you don't get thrown off base when something comes at you at the last minute. Let's go down to slide 8, please. 

So now you got to gather your team, you have to make sure you've got a project director, or you've identified who's going to be the lead for your project. But you also need to figure out who else do you need to talk to because you're going to have to give those people lists of information that you need from them and due dates. When do you need that information from them? And make sure that you give them plenty of time to access that information and get it to you, but also that it's going to give you enough time to integrate it into your application. 

So these are just some of the things that you might need to get from other people. And just to make some notes for quotes, remember that quotes sometimes it's as simple as doing some internet searches, but sometimes, especially if it's a particular piece of equipment that needs to be specialized, you're going to have to talk to sales representatives or somebody is going to have to talk to sales representatives and get quotes. So sometimes that can take longer than you might think. So you want to make sure you give lots of time. 

Resumes. Nobody likes to do resumes. Nobody likes to update their resumes. So always try to get to the people need resumes from very early in the process and let them know and remind them. 

Subrecipient or partner information. You can't be aware of what their capacity is. So make that contact early in the project and say, this is what I'm going to need from you, and how long is it going to take you to get it to me? And come to a consensus of when you can expect that information to be on your desk so that you can use it for the completion of your application. 

The budget information. For some organizations, this is one person. You're getting it all from one person, but for others, you might have to go to several different people. So be prepared, who do you have to go to and when are you going to get that? 

Letters of support or partnership. Whenever I need letters from another organization, I give them some sort of a template. And particularly letters of support. I give them a template that has all the relevant information about the project in it, so they pretty much just need to fill in some blanks. 

Some organizations are going to go way above and beyond and give you all kinds of information. Others are not, and they'll fill in the blanks and get it right back to you. But the key is they get it back to you. And use your checklist to make sure you track those documents as they come in and as they get finished. Next slide, please. 

Preparing your work plan. If they give you a template, use it. And often in NOFOs, you'll see that you can use-- you don't have to use the template, you can use something else if it's-- as long as you have all the information. But again, you want to make this as simple for the reviewers as possible so the reviewers get used to seeing the template and to finding the information just so they can check those boxes in that template. So you want to make sure that you're using that template. And make sure that when you're developing your work plan that you're hitting your objectives, that you have deliverables, and that they're measurable. 

Make sure before you submit this application that how you're going to verify your results before you submit it. You want to make sure that how this is going to end. Time frames. Make sure that the people who are implementing this project can do it within the time frames, and be reasonable with them for how long it's going to be when you're building your work plan. And make sure you know who's going to do what. 

You always walk into an application assuming you're going to get funded, and you want to be able to start moving as soon as you get that notice of award. So you need to know who's involved. Next page, please. 

Project budget. Make sure your quotes aren't stale. If they're six months to a year old, you probably want to update those. And if they're older, absolutely, you want to update those. 

You want to make sure you've got an idea of what data you need from your colleagues, from your vendors, from whoever you're getting it from. And remember to include-- to ask the right questions. I guess it is the right-- what want to say. 

For salaries, if you're including salaries and your organization regularly gives colas or some sort of salary increase every year or every two years, whatever it may be, make sure you're incorporating that into your grant budget. If you're purchasing some equipment, you want to make sure you get the installation costs. Software often comes with subscriptions. 

Sometimes, there are maintenance fees. You want to make sure that your budget includes all of that. And so you have to make sure that you're asking the right questions about how-- when you're asking for the budget numbers from people. 

And you don't want to be surprised. And certainly, you want to make sure that the long-range costs, those subscription fees or maintenance fees, things that are going to carry over beyond the grant are going to be covered and that they'll be-- that somebody can get them into the budget, the regular budget after the end of the grant project. 

Again, use the template if you're given one and follow the guidance regarding equipment supplies contracting. Try to get things in the right columns. Equipment, generally $5,000 or more, lasts more than a year, supplies less than that. It's contracting if you're buying equipment and having it installed by the same vendor. So you want to make sure you get that. 

Check your math. Take it from somebody who was recently very embarrassed. I had a spreadsheet that had a bad formula in it. I didn't realize it for a while. You need to make sure that you check your math. 

If you're using an Excel a spreadsheet, which I certainly recommend, make sure that your formulas are correct and you have somebody check those for you. Next page. 

The technical volume or the narrative. Use the template if it's provided. I always go right in and create an outline for each section of the narrative. And as I'm going through the NOFO, I go through it again as I'm going through the narrative. 

And I take any questions or guidance, anything that's in the NOFO that belongs in that section that I need to answer in that section, and I put it in an outline or a bullet or something so that when I go back to create my answer for section one, I'm answering all the questions, I'm following the guidance in regard to the response that I need to be. 

I also want to make sure that those key points from the review criteria are in the right sections. So in section one, I'm going to answer this review criteria in criterion. And then, in section two, I'm going to answer these, but make sure you address all of the review criteria. Even if it doesn't apply to your project, address that. Put in a sentence that-- I know somehow you're putting it in there, that you've identified that write review criteria as important, but it doesn't apply to your project. 

Tell your story. Make sure that your project and its implementation will help you achieve your goals, and explain how it helps you achieve your goals. Use data where you can, bullet points, tables, anything that makes it easier for the reviewer to read your application. And tables and bullet points help to break things up and make it simpler for everybody. 

Proofread your draft. Have someone else proofread it. My personal favorite thing to do is to shut my door and read it out loud to myself slowly. 

I will read every single word out loud. It helps me find my typos or awkward sentences or whatever it might be. Next slide, please. 

The required forms. Again, use that checklist. Make sure when they come back to you, any forms that you're getting from someone else, that they're complete, that the boxes are checked, that it's signed. If it's a hard copy, make sure you save it as a PDF into your files. And last slide, please. 

Coming in, I'm sliding into home here right at the last second. So I'm the queen of subfolders. And I create a folder that's called Final Documents or Submission Documents. Before I put anything in there, I make sure it's complete. I read it through, make sure every word has been read, if it needs a signature, if it needs a box check, whatever it needs that it's in there. 

I label it according to the protocols. The Department of Energy gives you very specific labeling protocols for the files, so you want to make sure you follow that. You also want to make sure that each of these files is what you said it is. 

We've all saved things with the wrong name. So when you open your SF424, you want to make sure it is your SF424 and not your budget support because these things happen. So once you have everything in that final documents file, double-check it again with your checklist. Open them up one more time just to make sure that they're exactly what they say they are, and then go ahead and submit it. And make sure you celebrate after you submit it because that's a big deal, and everybody should be happy after you're done and you hit that Submit button. 

OK, thank you very much. I'm more than happy to answer questions. 

BRANDON KIGER: Thanks, Karen. That was amazing work. Very detailed. 

We will get to questions at the end of this webinar, will allow about 20 minutes. So if you do have any questions-- to the audience you-- please submit those in the question box, and we will get to those at the end of this webinar. 

Next, we have Forest County, Potawatomi Community. And Jerry Hauber will be discussing their project planning process and strategic planning. You may proceed, Jerry. 

JERRY HAUBER: Well, thank you guys for having me. I just want to talk to you guys a little bit about the strategic planning that we do at the Forest County Potawatomi community and what we've done in the past. I'm not going to get as detailed as the previous presentation, but we're going to talk at a really high level and talk about the importance of strategic planning, and how we go about it, and why we do it. 

I wanted to start this out with this first slide because it shows you that long road ahead for strategic planning when doing energy projects. You've got a number of different directions that you can go. And when you're on that path, you may not know the direction that you're going. Once you start, it may take you in a different route. 

So next slide. Just to give a little bit about the Forest County Potawatomi, the Potawatomi were once part of the historic confederacy, made up of the Ojibwa, Odawa, and Potawatomi nations, known as the Council of Three Fires. The Ojibwa was the "Older Brother" and the "Keeper of the Faith." The Odawa was the "Middle Brother" and the "Keeper of the Trade," and the Potawatomi were the "Little Brother" or the "Keeper of the Fire." You can see in the map on the top right where our home base is in Northern Wisconsin, where it circled in Forest County. Next slide. 

Now, this slide lets you know that we are based in Forrest County, and the larger map that you see there in the middle of the screen is Forrest County, but you see the purple sections in Forrest County or pinkish purple that were scattered all over the County. So that's all the land that we owned within Forrest County. And then if you look on the small map on the left where it says "Main map area," all those pink sections are also land that we own throughout Wisconsin, not the whole entire counties, but where we own land within those counties is what I'm trying to say. 

So we're like a lot of other tribes in the United States in that we own land throughout the state that we're in. And it's not just one massive area of land to work within. So we work all the way across the state, and I've got projects that are going on in the very southern part down in Milwaukee, the very northern part up in Forrest County, and pretty much everything in between. Next slide. 

So the strategic plan for tribal energy grant application. That's what we're here to talk about. That strategic plan for us looks and acts in a number of different ways. 

When I first came on for the Forest County Potawatomi, there wasn't much strategic planning that happened. What happened then was there was grants that came out, and it was hurry up, get a project together so that we can go after the grant money and not really huge goals. We had the goal of reducing the amount of energy being used, but not really 

like a five-year or 10-year plan. And in the last three or four years, we've put together a strategic plan that's looking at the long-term goals. Next slide. 

So how do we do that? Identifying energy goals and needs. The first thing that we did when we were looking at energy goals and these is we simply got the billing to come in. It took almost a year for us to work with our utility to be able to get the billing to come in and to where we have full control over all of our data. 

They had a system that was online, very cumbersome. You couldn't look at all of our 147 different accounts at once. You couldn't put it into a spreadsheet, you couldn't manipulate it, you couldn't do anything with it. So it took almost a year to working with the utility to get them to send us an Excel file once a month. 

Now, we have full control over our data. We're storing that data. We can go back for the last three years that we've been receiving it like that. We're working with our utility now to be able to go back for another four or five years so that we'll have that information going forward. And we'll utilize that when we're looking at doing grants so that we can reference back to the past. 

But we had to be able to understand what buildings were using what energy because you're not going to focus on a community building that is barely using any energy. You're going to focus on your larger buildings that you can really make a difference. And then, once you get figured out what buildings, it's going to engage the community. You want to engage the stakeholders because we're a tribal community. We're here to serve the tribal community. So we need to make sure that we understand what the tribal community is wanting, what they value, and what they see as important going forward for the tribal community. 

And then, aligning those goals that we came through and-- from doing the stakeholder engagement, that may be doing conducting surveys, that may be doing outreach and engagement events, that may be reaching out to the elder community, and having interactions. It can be done in a number of different ways. But now we're going to take all that together, and we're going to make sure that aligns with the tribal visions and goals that we have for the long-term. 

In our case, we came up with-- we want to be carbon neutral by 2050, and we want to be halfway there by 2040. So those are the big long-term goals. Now we've got the goals, now how do we go achieve them? Next slide. 

So how do we go achieve them? In our case, we've been utilizing the DOE grants. So reach out, investigate some of the grants with the DOE. Give me a call. 

I work with Josh Gregory on a number of grant projects that we have going on right now. Wonderful source of information. I pick up the call. 

Sometimes, Josh might say call too often. But I pick up all the time and give him a call when I have an idea, or I have a problem that comes up with a current grant. He's always available for me. But investigate those different grants that are out there, whether that be going online and working through what you find online. And if you have questions, pick up the phone. 

Understand the grant requirements. Not all grants are going to work for all projects. There are some DOE grants that are out there that are only going to work for low-income tribes. 

There are some grants out there that are only going to work for grid resiliency. So make sure that the grant that you're trying to go after does the project goals that you're trying to meet. Match your opportunities with tribal energy priorities. 

So where we talked about before of, hey, there's a new grant that's coming out, it doesn't mean that grant is necessarily-- you got to go out and get it, you got to go out and put a grant application together. 

If it doesn't work with your long-term tribal energy goals and priorities, let it go. You've got other opportunities to go. Get other things that work for your long-term goals. Next slide. 

When you get to that point, and you know what you're going to go after, and the grants that you're going to go after, and the projects that you want to do, you need to put together that team. You need to assemble a multidisciplinary team. 

And what I mean by that is you need somebody that can be the point person and be the strategic planning, and be the 30,000-foot view guy, be the person that knows what direction you're going to go. You're going to need somebody that's going to get down in the weeds, your analyst. 

You're going to need somebody that you can rely on to crunch the numbers. You're going to engage in expert knowledge. Be aware that not all consultants are the same. 

We found some consultants that are "snake oil" salesmen, for a lack of a better term. And some consultants like merchant we've dealt with on a number of different times, and we've had very good success with, and we'll continue dealing with them. 

And then leverage these diverse enterprises and strategic planning. What I mean by that is take the strategic planning, take the team that you have, go into a brainstorming session and figure out a plan of how to get from point A to point B to point C, and to get you all the way to point Z to get you to the successful goal. In our case, zero carbon by 2050, how do we get there by 2050, or how do we get there sooner? Next slide. 

So developing a project concept. For us, that's almost always some type of feasibility study or some type of study that comes into play. I mentioned early on before I came on with Forest County, it was gung ho, let's go get solar projects, let's do these types of projects, which is great. But solar or renewable energy doesn't necessarily need to be the first thing you do, and it shouldn't be the first thing you do. 

And the reason I say that is because it's cheaper and better long-term to look at energy efficiency measures. 

Our Casino in Milwaukee uses 65% of all the energy that the tribe consumes. So focusing on the Casino and figuring out how we can reduce the energy loads there is going to be better long-term. It's also cheaper to reduce the amount of energy the building uses than to simply just put up solar. Also, if you put up solar before you actually figure out what-- how energy-efficient you can make that building, you may install more solar than what you actually need, and then you'll be overselling out to the grid. So conduct that feasibility study. Make sure that whatever project that you're doing is going to work. Make sure that it aligns with the tribal energy goals, and identify the feasibility of that project. Is that project going to make financial sense? 

Forest County has a very simple equation. And it comes down to if it doesn't have a payback period of 12 years or less, we're not looking at it. It just doesn't work for us. 

There are some projects that we have worked on that have very short payback periods of a year and a half or less. There some that are right at the 12-year limit. And it really just depends on the project. Next slide. 

So assess the feasibility. Evaluate the technical and economic, environmental aspects. What I mean by that is it goes back to the payback period, the simple payback period of how long is it going to take for the amount of outgoings to be coming back to the tribe. Is it a good project? Does it make financial and economic sense to do this project? 

Ensure the sustainability and cost-effectiveness. Does it make sense to do the project in the time that it takes utilizing the DOE money and utilizing your own money? Can you take your money and the DOE's money and put it into a project that puts out a better return? And what I mean by a better return that gets you closer to your long-term goals in a shorter period of time. 

Respect the tribal values and environmental principles. We're never going to do a project that goes against our environmental principles. Mother Earth comes first. And we're not going to do anything to change that. Next slide. 

This is a slide that I can't stress the importance of enough. Engage with DOE early. Engage with them often. 

I said it earlier. I call Josh on a very regular basis, whether I have an idea about a project that is up and coming, and we'll talk about it and get his feelings about it. And if he doesn't have an answer, he always, 100% of the time, goes and gets me an answer and then comes back in a couple of days, and we talk about it again. If I'm having a problem with a project that I've already got a grant for, something has come up, I call Josh the second that I know about it. I let him know because I don't want him to have any surprises. I want him to be understanding of what's going on. 

He is a stakeholder in the project. He needs to just as fast as I need to know. 

The second one-- explore additional funding. DOE is not the only funding source that's out there. Here in Wisconsin, we have Focus on Energy. And Focus on Energy-- we work with on a regular basis. 

Before I came on, there wasn't a whole lot out there for the tribal communities, specifically through Focus on Energy. We worked with them directly. And over the last couple of years, they have developed some key incentives for tribal communities specifically. One, for example, is doing weatherization of tribal homes. 

We were able to do 16 last year 13 the year before, and we're looking to do upwards of 20 this year. They paid for that it was 100%, or it was 80%. 

They paid 20%. We paid-- but work with those stakeholders within the community. Even all the projects that DOE has funded, Focus on Energy has stepped in and also helped with funding. So it works out for everybody involved. 

Strengthening of the grant application through partnership. And that's what I was saying, is that as you reach out to your stakeholders within the community, you're going to create these partnerships that are going to come together, that are going to strengthen your grant application because it's going to give you more information, more value, more outreach within the community. And it's only going to empower your application. Next slide. 

Prepare and submit the grant application. Well, this is an area that I am very blessed. We have a wonderful grants team, and we work with them on a very regular basis. 

We have some wonderful ladies that take care of us, and they go out of their way to make sure that we are doing the very best that we can for these grant applications. But the best thing I can say is follow the grant application. Guidelines do exactly what it says. Don't miss any points. 

Include the detailed project description in the budget. That budget is super important. Make sure those numbers that you include in there are the very best numbers that you can get a hold of. 

Like we said before, if the numbers are a little old, you're going to have to reach out and get some new numbers. Make sure that the numbers that you have are the best that you can get. I like the alignments that DOE has for their objectives and your objectives. Make sure that you make-- make it clear that your objectives and those objectives are very similar or the exact same with the project that you have going on. Next slide. 

So when it comes time, you've done all this hard work, and you get a call from DOE, and they say, hey, we're going to give you that money. That's great. Now it comes time to really hard work. 

Now you've got to go implement that project. And why I say it's hard work is because you've got to go do everything that you said you were going to do in that grant application. Yes, we all know things are going to change. Projects change on the fly, but you're going to want to stay as close to that grant application as you possibly can with the timelines that you've given because it's going to make it easier for everyone if something comes up. 

For example, we had a project, a community solar project, to where we had 326Kw of solar that got stranded in Milwaukee. We were going to install it on our [INAUDIBLE] campus. However, the city of Milwaukee stepped in and said, no, I don't think we want you there with that. Instead, figure out somewhere else to put that because that's a historic preservation area, whereas previously, a year prior, they had said, yeah, we're open to that. 

So I immediately called Josh up, we got on the phone. We talked through it. We explained that, hey, this has happened. We've got 326Kw of solar that's stranded. We've got to find a home for it. 

At that point in time, we were paying $1.80 a watt, and the only solution that we had, because we didn't have any place that we could go put 326Kw solar-- the only solution we had was to break it apart into smaller solar projects, which at the same time pushed up the cost per watt to right at $2.05 a watt or so, but we were able to put it on some other buildings. And we were able to keep that project moving forward. 

Again, we were able to do that by open communication with DOE and making sure that they're aware of what's going on. Provide regular updates. We have the quarterly reports that are required from grants. 

When you're doing those reports, make sure that you are giving all the detail, the good, the bad, and the ugly. The ugly is important. And before you give the ugly, you give your project manager a call, and you let them know that the ugly is coming in the report. 

Make sure that they're aware of what's going on and that you've got a solution for it. And if you don't have a solution, brainstorm with them because they've seen almost everything. They're a great source of information. Next slide, please. 

So now you've got the project implemented. Maybe it's a solar project, maybe it's an energy efficiency project. Now it's time to monitor it because you've predicted to DOE what that project was going to save in carbon, what that project was going to save in energy. Now, you've got to go in and prove what you suggested. 

Now, if the project comes in and it doesn't save as much as what you originally predicted, figure out why, what the problem is. Communicate that back to DOE. If you're not sure what the problem is, ask for help and guidance because there could be an issue that you're just simply not aware of. 

Work with your consultants. Work with your contractors. Figure out the issue. 

Document all the achievements, both the good and the bad along the way. And then report that back to DOE within your quarterly reports and just your monthly check-ins kind of thing. 

And as long as you're doing that, you're not going to have a problem. You're going to have a good positive relationship with DOE, and the project's going to move forward. Next slide. 

Review and adjust. This is what I was just talking about earlier. That project is going to change as you're doing it, and you've got to be able to adjust with it. 

So continually review the progress of the project. If there's an issue that comes up, figure out a way around it, figure out a different solution. We had an example of the community center project where we were doing AEEMS and then solar on the rooftop. And originally, the solar on the rooftop was supposed to be 470Kw of solar, and it ended up because of the way the roof got designed, changed in the very, very end of the project with ribs being in the wrong places or not the wrong places, but in different places than what they were on the drawings. We could only get 399Kw solar on the rooftop, so that leaves 70Kw of solar stranded. Problem with that project is there's nowhere to put 70Kw of solar. So now it's going back to the contractor and working with them to try to figure out a solution. 

There's always a way to figure out a solution to the problem. You've just got to be willing to put in the work and then communicate that back to make the adjustments and involve-- make sure that those adjustments align with the tribals energy needs and goals. Next slide. 

So that's my presentation. The one thing I would like to add to this is some of the successes that we've been able to see, you can see those successes in a web link that Brandon will be supplying. I encourage you guys to watch the web link. It's about a six-minute video that outlines the community center and the importance of the community center project within our community. And if anyone has any questions, I'm more than willing to help. Thank you. 

BRANDON KIGER: Thanks, Jerry. I did provide that link. Hopefully, it works. It's a very long link. 

It is on Facebook. So our platform is a little limited, and we weren't able to share it through this platform today, unfortunately. But it is a very good video. We have seen it, and it shows what good strategic energy planning can look like. So thank you, Jerry. 

So now we're going to get to some Q&A. We got some time here. And I'm going to start with some of our-- start with Karen. 

Karen, you've been busy responding already to questions, but I do like to call these out loud so others can benefit, too. I hope you're OK with that. [LAUGHS] 

KAREN SIX: Yep, that'll be fine. 

BRANDON KIGER: OK. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Now, there was a question about, Can you define maintenance fees again and give an example? 

KAREN SIX: Yeah, and it can be called different things. We actually purchased, I believe it was a records management system, which was a software, and it came with this maintenance fee of actually $60,000 a year. So this was not a Department of Energy project. It was another project, but that's a significant amount of money, obviously. 

So you want to make sure you know about that upfront. So if you're going to include it in the grant, that's fine. But it's also one of those things that you need to be aware of for after the period of performance is over. So who's going to pay that $60,000 bill after the grant period is done? 

So it's often with software or some sort of system like a management system that you're using. But it can be called lots of different things, a subscription fee, a maintenance fee. I hope that answers the question. 

BRANDON KIGER: Yeah, thank you for clarifying. There was also a question for you regarding whether-- I lost track. Sorry. There's so many questions here. [LAUGHS] 

KAREN SIX: Yeah, [INAUDIBLE]. 

BRANDON KIGER: Oh, about filing online. Have you had experience with other organizations, and what was your experience been with applying online with us? And to be honest, I think we use our IE exchange. And there was a question on here about filing online. So what has your experience been? 

KAREN SIX: To be very honest, every federal agency has to reinvent the wheel and create its own website for submitting applications and so does every private foundation and organization. So online submission of application of grant applications is just something-- there are no rules because every organization and every federal agency or state agency does it a little bit differently. They all look different. 

Some you are uploading documents, some you're answering questions in the website. The best thing I can suggest is that you get into the application it's early in the process as you can and go through it and see what the expectations are, whether it's stuff you need to have prepared to cut and paste in the application or forms you have to have completed so that you can upload them. Unfortunately, that's just the way it is. Even the federal government agencies have not decided on one. They all have different ones. 

BRANDON KIGER: Yeah. Very true. Thanks. 

KAREN SIX: Yeah. 

BRANDON KIGER: Thanks, Karen. That's very helpful. Jerry, I had a question. 

You were talking about a feasibility studies and assessing feasibility studies. For someone that has never done a feasibility study or gone through that process, do you have any good recommendations on just resources that tribal governments can look into further that aren't expensive? Or maybe there's technical assistance out there. I don't know. So can you provide any things that you have found helpful regarding feasibility studies? 

JERRY HAUBER: Yeah. Yeah, I would suggest a couple of different things. One, in Wisconsin, we have the Focus on Energy. And focus on energy has a wonderful program. After we've talked with them, they put together these different incentives out there for tribe-specific. And they have $15,000 to go out and create a strategic plan. 

Part of that strategic plan could be using some of that 15-- either some or all of that $15,000 to conduct a feasibility study. So you could take that money and then turn around and go to Merge IT, which is one of the consultants that we use and get a feasibility study done that way. 

We've done something like that in the past where we used a $10,000 feasibility study to go out and get the last DOE grant that we got for $2 million to do energy efficiency measures at the casino. I would also add on top of that Liz Weber over at NREL will help almost do the whole thing when it comes to feasibility studies, depending on the types of feasibility studies. But their technical assistance is just amazing over there. 

We've been working with them on some other projects. We have a 25 megawatt solar project that we're trying to get to move forwar. But it's a unique type of solar project, in that it is a vertical axis solar. So it's basically like a solar fence. 

It's something that has only been done here in the United States and a couple of different locations and only very small, but it's been done in Europe and Southeast Asia on very large scales. And the numbers that it's generating are really, really good. 

We had a very difficult time because we try to do all of our analytical analysis in-house, but because this was a solar fence, and it really hasn't been done a whole lot, it was really hard to do the modeling with that and to make sure that the modeling that we had put together was actually right because some of the different types of software-- they don't go to 90 degrees for that solar fence. And NREL was able to help us model it. And in the end, we came out within like 2%, 3% difference between what we modeled and what they modeled. So that's-- those are the two things that I would suggest. 

Find the focus on energy type of program in your area. And then reach out with NREL on their technical assistance. And then reach out with Mike at DOE. The technical assistance with the DOE and NREL is really phenomenal. 

BRANDON KIGER: Yeah. Yeah, thank you, Jerry, for clarifying on that. And I know Lizana wanted to weigh in on this question, too. And it may be even Mike Stephenson can also provide some resources. Lizana, did you want to hop in? 

LIZANA PIERCE: Yeah. yes, thanks, Brandon. I also wanted to let folks know that the Interior Division of Energy and Minerals-- they have a Energy and Mineral Development Grant to help with feasibility studies as well. It usually comes out annually. 

They also have a-- I forget the name of it, but it's basically for tribal utility evaluation. So that's another resource as well, as our TA, which will help fund and NREL and other providers, as Mike presented earlier, for some of those resource assessments and analysis and modeling as well. Thank you, Brandon. 

BRANDON KIGER: Yeah, you're welcome. And Mike, there was a TA question that came up here. This gentleman is wanting to know if we've ever worked with any pump storage hydro generation projects or near reservations. Is that something that we would assist with on technical assistance? 

MIKE STEVENSON: Yeah, we certainly can. Again, our technical assistance is confidential, so we won't list who we've done past efforts for in terms of pumped hydro, but that's definitely something that we'd be happy to entertain assessing pumped hydro feasibility. Just either send me an email or go through our website and put in your request, and we'd be happy to talk further on details, but that's definitely something we could help work towards.

BRANDON KIGER: Great. And Studie, I know you've been answering questions too in the background here. But again, I'd like to share it with the audience. 

We did have a question related to the community benefits plan. Are they required for tax credits or only the loans? Can you clarify on that? 

RAYMOND "STUDIE" REDCORN: Yeah. So community benefits plans get tied to financial assistance opportunities, mainly grants and potentially loans as well. The majority of CVPs out in the world will be in that grants category. To my knowledge, CVPs are not required for any tax credits at all. 

BRANDON KIGER: OK. Thank you. Let's see. There was another one. 

Could the fellows-- this is regarding the fellowship program. Could the Fellows be loaners from developers? 

RAYMOND "STUDIE" REDCORN: It is a possibility. 

BRANDON KIGER: OK. 

RAYMOND "STUDIE" REDCORN: Yeah. 

BRANDON KIGER: OK. 

RAYMOND "STUDIE" REDCORN: So there's minimal requirements for who can be a fellow. It's mainly fellows need to have a bachelor's degree, and there might be a little bit of a relevant experience that's needed. To clarify, the tribe or, say, intertribal regional organization really leads in selecting who their fellows are. DOE does some minimal verification that they meet some basic requirements I mentioned before the bachelor's degree and just sort of a check that it's a good fit. But it's really up to the host institutions to-- if they get selected as a host institutions to make them the primary determination on who's the best fit for them to be a fellow. 

I will add that the tribal entities are leading the charge in selecting those, but those fellows do need to apply to the program separately, and then they get matched at the end. There's nothing to prevent tribal entities and prospective fellows from talking to each other throughout that process with the goal of getting matched on the other end. 

BRANDON KIGER: OK, great. And another question I had for you, Studie, as you mentioned previously, this is such a new program, the community benefits plan. But are there any more insights or tips you can provide in crafting robust community benefit agreements for DOE for tribal funding opportunities? And how would you craft a CBA proposal at the early stage of a project? 

I know you pointed to some resources on a, I think it was the GDL website. Do you have any other information that you can recommend at this time? 

RAYMOND "STUDIE" REDCORN: Yeah, my main advice, and it was brought up in other presentations, too, was-- is to reach out to the potential partners early. So I focused a lot on community benefits agreements, but there's also the potential to get letters of support to make a community benefits plan more robust. 

Having those potential community partners on board early in the process is going to lead to the best community benefits plan. The community benefits plans themselves are very flexible because they need to apply to a really wide range of projects. But it's those partnerships and community potential for community benefits agreements and letters of support that really lend strength to the community benefits plans. 

BRANDON KIGER: OK, perfect. There was a question on the energy purchase preference. Do you know if green hydrogen is being considered as an update for the Purchase Program Preference [INAUDIBLE] at the moment? 

RAYMOND "STUDIE" REDCORN: At the moment, you need two elements to apply the Indian Energy Purchase Preference. First, the federal government has to be already wanting to buy the product in general for something. And green hydrogen would definitely be an energy product. That's a easy to confirm. 

And then the other thing is that it has to be a tribal majority-owned business selling it. Right now, I'm not aware of any instances in which the federal government is buying green hydrogen. I know that there are some facilities, including DOE facilities that have plans to integrate hydrogen into their long-term energy strategy. But until that procurement opportunity comes up, the agency cannot-- doesn't have the ability to apply the preference because it's not yet buying that product. 

BRANDON KIGER: OK. Thank you. And one last question here. Can a fellow also be a postgraduate student? 

RAYMOND "STUDIE" REDCORN: The fellows should be committed full-time to the fellowship. So it's not a part-time thing. It's a very generous stipend, which comes along with it. 

So I would have to dig in to confirm the exact requirements on that. But our intent in funding this fellowship is that these are folks that are going to be working full-time with the tribe. 

BRANDON KIGER: OK, great. Great. So we have run out of time today, but I just wanted to point to the slide on everyone's screens right now. If you do have any follow-up questions that we didn't get to today, please email those to indianenergy@hq.doe.gov, and we'll identify the appropriate contact to send those, too. And include that contact in the subject line, too. That's very helpful, too. 

A lot of great compliments for our tribal representatives today, Karen Six and-- from Oneida Indian Nation and Jerry Hauber from Forest County, Potawatomi. Thank you again for sharing us these best practices and strategic energy planning and applying for our grants. I'm very grateful for your insights. 

Let's move on to concluding today's webinar. Please stay tuned for the announcements on future webinars through our Office of Indian Energy website, our email newsletter and social media. This concludes the webinar for today. 

Thank you again for your interest in attendance. We look forward to joining us for future webinars. And have a great day. Thank you.