This year, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Indian Energy is hosting its first-ever Virtual Program Review December 14–17, 2020.
The annual event aims to bring together Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages to celebrate tribal energy successes and share information through a number of focused presentations. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s event will be held virtually using a webinar format, so attendees and presenters can remain safe and join remotely.
Due to widespread interest in energy development, the Program Review is open to all of Indian Country.
Get Updates on Tribal Energy Project Progress From Across the Nation
During the virtual Program Review, tribes who have received grant funding from DOE’s Office of Indian Energy will present updates on their projects. This year’s Review agenda includes the following highlights:
- Ute Mountain Ute Tribe (CO): On Monday, December 14, Bernadette Cuthair and Scott Clow of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe will provide an update on the Tribe’s second community-scale solar project, which is projected to: offset more than 25% of tribal load with clean solar power, eliminating more than 1,500 tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year; pass on cost savings to tribal members through utility bill credits; and save the tribal government more than $172,000 in energy costs annually and more than $3.4 million over the life of the system.
- Huslia Tribal Council (AK): On Monday, December 14, David Pelunis Messier, rural energy coordinator for the Tanana Chiefs Conference (TCC), will present on Huslia’s recently installed biomass system, which is fed by locally harvested cordwood, saving the community money, reducing its reliance on imported diesel, and fueling the local economy.
- Bishop Paiute Tribe (CA): On Tuesday, December 15, Bishop Paiute Tribe Environmental Director Brian Adkins will provide an update on the third phase of the Tribe’s residential solar program, which has expanded through a series of DOE-cofunded projects over the past several years.
- Nuvista Light and Electric Cooperative, Inc. (AK): On Wednesday, December 16, Nuvista Light and Electric Cooperative Executive Director Natalie Hanson will share updates on a joint venture between Kwethluk, Inc., the Organized Village of Kwethluk, and Nuvista to install a battery energy storage system that will be integrated into the Kwethluk wind-diesel system to improve energy resilience and offset diesel consumption of the community.
What Attendees Said About Last Year’s Program Review
So very humbled to be able to attend this conference and meet and learn from all of the tribes (brothers and sisters) about energy plans, hopes, and goals.
“Loved the presentations on projects which could potentially be viable for my tribe.”
“This is an extraordinary experience of learning, sharing, and connecting. Invaluable…I look forward to sharing the knowledge and connections I've gained.”