The Office of Indian Energy was honored and excited to attend the 2022 Reservation Economic Summit (RES) in Las Vegas, Nevada in May. We spoke with so many of you, learned a lot, and listened to your feedback on ways our office can best support tribal energy projects.
To summarize, here are our top three takeaways after RES.
It Was Great to Reconnect In Person
When the pandemic hit and kept us separated, it reminded us of the importance of connection. RES was a great chance to reconnect again. We thrive on the relationships and direct feedback from tribal leaders and native community members. Attending RES was exactly the opportunity we wanted to have—to reconnect and understand how we can best support tribal energy projects.
"It was great to get back in person and get a finger on the pulse of things. There were a lot of inquiries, even more than at past summits. I hope that we get as much follow up as the amount of inquiries and interest we received," said Josh Gregory, an engineer with the Office of Indian Energy.
Funding Opportunities and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Are Top of Mind
Our staff was ready to answer as many questions as possible on government funding opportunities to fuel tribal energy projects and support tribes in participating in the growing clean energy economy. Our staff offered handouts of various grants and funding opportunities available through DOE and the Office of Indian Energy, including early notice on a major funding announcement coming this summer, when the Office of Indian Energy plans to release $35 million in funding to deploy energy infrastructure on tribal lands, and to power unelectrified tribal buildings.
We also provided handouts and fielded many questions related to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL).
"The amount of money coming out of the [BIL] is once in a generation—this is really resonating with people," explained Sandra Begay, a principal member of the technical staff at Sandia National Laboratory and lead for the Office of Indian Energy college student internships.
BIL provides more than $62 billion to stand up 60 new DOE programs, including 16 demonstration and 32 deployment programs and expands funding for 12 existing research, development, demonstration, and deployment (RDD&D) programs. Additionally, The White House released a Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Tribal Playbook to help tribal governments unlock the benefits from the historic investments in our nation's infrastructure, including the more than $13 billion set aside for Indian Country.
For additional information on BIL programs and opportunities for tribes, visit our BIL Programs webpage.
We're Here to Answer Your Questions and Support Your Energy Projects
Speaking with attendees throughout the summit, including those who attended our full day of sessions and visited our booth, it was clear that you have many questions—and we're here to help. In addition to answering your inquiries on funding opportunities, we fielded many more questions related to workforce development, the loan guarantee program, energy transitions away from a fossil fuel economy, energy sovereignty, capacity building, and other energy-related opportunities that may come from the clean energy transition.
"This was a great opportunity for direct feedback – hearing from people on the issues or challenges they have. For those who may have missed our government-centric session, we know you have many questions on how partnering with the federal government can help your energy priorities. I want everyone to know, we are here to help," said Wahleah Johns, Director of the Office of Indian Energy.
The Office of Indian Energy has many resources available on our website, and through interactive and engaging webinars and events. You can explore opportunities related to:
- Current Funding Opportunities
- Resources, Education, and Training
- Real Project Highlights in our Projects Database
- Monthly Webinars
- And more!
For those who could not attend our full day of sessions or would like to review the content again, you can view the presentations.
We invite you to explore our website to see what other opportunities and resources are available to you through the Office of Indian Energy. If you still have questions, please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to seeing you at RES 2023, and other upcoming events and conferences.