Federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Indian Energy, provide grant, loan, and technical assistance programs to support tribal energy projects. Find information about the Office of Indian Energy's past funding opportunities.
Current Funding Opportunities
EPA Environmental Justice Program Grants:
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is working to improve the environment and public health conditions of low-income communities and communities of color through the advancement of racial equity and environmental justice. Two funding opportunities are currently open to nonprofit organizations, U.S. territories, tribal governments, Alaska Native villages, and tribal organizations.
Learn more about the EPA’s environmental justice funding and technical assistance opportunities.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development is making grants available to acquire, construct, extend, upgrade, or otherwise improve energy generation, transmission or distribution facilities.
Eligible entities include federally recognized tribes and tribal entities, state and local government entities, and nonprofits.
This list provides information on technical assistance, funding, and renewable energy credits for tribal energy projects from a variety of U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and federal government programs. To explore current opportunities available to tribes, click on the titles of the solicitations below.
The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) has a long-standing commitment to provide funding for weatherization services to low-income households. In 1999, BPA specifically set aside funding to be targeted towards Native American homes to improve the installation of weatherization measures in both Indian Country and throughout the service territory of its public utility customers.
The Office of Indian Energy provides federally recognized Indian Tribes, including Alaska Native villages, tribal energy resource development organizations, and other organized tribal groups and communities, with technical assistance to advance tribal energy projects.
Technical experts from DOE, DOE's national laboratories, and others are available to provide up to 40 hours of in-depth support, including strategic energy planning and project development support.
The goal of the technical assistance is to address a specific challenge or fulfill a specific need that is essential to a current project's successful implementation. The intended result is a tangible product or specific deliverable designed to help move the project forward.
The U.S. Department of the Interior’s (DOI’s) Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development is accepting loan applications on an ongoing basis through the Indian Loan Guaranty, Insurance, and Interest Subsidy Program. Operated by 12 Bureau of Indian Affairs regional offices cross the country in coordination with the Division of Capital Investment in Washington, D.C., the program is aimed at spurring the development of viable Indian businesses through conventional lender financing. Tribes or individuals simply apply for a loan through any lender that regularly engages in making loans; in cases where the lending institution would not otherwise approve a borrower’s loan application, the lender may apply for a loan guaranty. By helping reduce the risk incurred by lenders, the program helps borrowers secure financing that might otherwise be unavailable. Eligible entities include federally recognized Tribes and Alaska Native groups.
The Economic Development Administration (EDA) solicits applications from applicants in rural and urban areas to provide investments that support construction, non-construction, technical assistance, and revolving loan fund projects under EDA’s Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance programs.
Grants and cooperative agreements made under these programs are designed to leverage existing regional assets and support the implementation of economic development strategies that advance new ideas and creative approaches to advance economic prosperity in distressed communities.
EDA provides strategic investments on a competitive- merit-basis to support economic development, foster job creation, and attract private investment in economically distressed areas of the United States. There are no submission deadlines under this opportunity. Proposals and applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis until the publication of a new Economic Development Assistance Program Federal Funding Opportunity announcement.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Brownfields Technical Assistance provides funding to organizations to conduct research and to provide training and technical assistance to communities to help address their brownfields challenges, such as conducting educational workshops, use web-based tools to facilitate brownfields redevelopment, and more.
The Ford Family Foundation is accepting applications to two funding opportunities for small or rural communities with populations under 35,000.
- Good Neighbor Grant offers funding to address unexpected needs or simple projects. Grants are available between $1,000–$10,000. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
- Community Building Spaces Grant offers funding for the development of public spaces. Various uses of funding include land acquisition, purchasing buildings, construction and renovations, among other activities. Grants are available between $50,000–$250,000. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
The Indian Land Tenure Foundation has several grants available for tribes focusing on education, cultural awareness, economic opportunity, or legal reform. The Foundation creates grants to Indian nations and nonprofit organizations, and work closely with several affiliate organizations, who share our mission and goals.
Rural Community Assistance Corporation’s (RCAC) Environmental Infrastructure Loan Program helps create, improve, or expand the supply of safe drinking water, waste disposal systems and other facilities that serve rural communities. RCAC’s loan programs provide the early funds small rural communities need to determine feasibility and pay pre-development costs prior to receiving state &/or federal program funding. May also provide interim construction financing, and intermediate & long-term loans for system improvements.
Eligible entities include nonprofit organizations, public agencies, and tribal governments. Projects must be located in rural areas with populations of 50,000 or less in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii and other pacific islands, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. Community size is limited to 10,000 for long-term USDA guaranteed loans and short-term loans for which USDA is the long-term lender. Eligible projects include water, wastewater, solid waste & storm water facilities. Contact Mike Carroll at firstname.lastname@example.org
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL) State, Local, and Tribal program partners with Native American tribes and Alaska Native villages, DOE, and other federal agencies, nonprofits, and intertribal organizations to provide resources and direct assistance that support energy technology delivery and connect motivated tribal governments with NREL's science and analysis. NREL provides the following tailored programs: technology and market analysis, direct technical assistance, capacity building, and resilience assessment and planning.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is accepting applications to develop essential community facilities in rural areas. Eligible areas including cities, villages, townships, and towns, including tribal lands, with no more than 20,000 residents. Funds can be used to purchase, construct, and/or improve essential community facilities, purchase equipment, and pay related expenses.
USDA is accepting applications to assist rural communities that have experienced a significant decline in quantity or quality of drinking water due to an emergency, or in which such decline is considered imminent, to obtain or maintain adequate quantities of water that meets the standards set by the Safe Drinking Water Act. This emergency is considered an occurrence of an incident such as, but not limited to, a drought, earthquake, flood, tornado, hurricane, disease outbreak, or chemical spill.
USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service is helping communities address watershed impairments that pose imminent threats to lives and property. The Emergency Watershed Protection Program was established by congress to respond to emergencies created by natural disasters and designed to help people and conserve natural resources by relieving imminent hazards to life and property caused by floods, fires, drought, windstorms, and other natural occurrences.
Public and private landowners are eligible for assistance, but must be represented by a project sponsor that must be a legal subdivision of the State, such as a city, county, township or conservation district, and Native American Tribes or Tribal governments.
USDA is accepting applications for Energy Audits and Renewable Energy Development Assistance (EA REDA) grants to eligible agricultural producers and rural small businesses. These grants help promote American energy independence by increasing the private sector supply of renewable energy and decreasing the demand for energy through energy efficiency improvements. Eligible projects include energy audits, renewable energy technical assistance, and renewable energy site assessments.
Eligible entities include state and local governments, federally recognized tribes, rural electric cooperatives, public power entities, resource conservation and development councils, and land-grant colleges or universities.
USDA is accepting applications to support targeted technical assistance, training and other activities leading to the development or expansion of small and emerging private businesses in rural areas which will employ 50 or fewer new employees and has less than $1 million in gross revenue. Programmatic activities are separated into enterprise or opportunity type grant activities. Rural public entities including, but not limited to, towns, communities, state agencies, authorities, nonprofits, federally recognized tribes, and rural cooperatives.
USDA is accepting applications to help nonprofit housing and community development organizations, low-income rural communities, and federally recognized tribes support housing, community facilities, and community and economic development projects in rural areas. The grants may be used for, but not limited to
- Training sub-grantees to conduct:
- Home-ownership education
- Minority business entrepreneur education
- Providing technical assistance to sub-grantees on:
- Strategic plan development
- Accessing alternative funding sources
- Board training
- Developing successful child care facilities
- Creating training tools, such as videos, workbooks, and reference guides
- Effective fundraising techniques.
USDA provides financial assistance to agriculture producers and rural small businesses to purchase, install, and construct renewable energy systems or complete energy efficiency improvements. An example of a potential funded project may be the installation of solar panels for hospitals or clinics to improve energy costs.
USDA provides loans and grants to microenterprise development organizations to provide microloans to help microenterprise startup and growth through a Rural Microloan Revolving Fund and training and technical assistance to microloan borrowers and micro entrepreneurs. Eligible entities includes nonprofits, federally recognized tribes, and institutions of higher education. Eligible areas include rural areas outside a city or town with a population of less than 50,000.