Current Funding Opportunities

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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

Close DateOrganizationOpportunity
5/1/2019DOE

2019 Energy Infrastructure Deployment on Tribal Lands

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $17 million in new funding to deploy energy infrastructure on tribal lands. This funding through the Office of Indian Energy will support Indian Tribes, which include Alaska Native Regional Corporations and Village Corporations, Intertribal Organizations, and Tribal Energy Development Organizations, interested in harnessing their vast undeveloped energy resources.

This FOA builds on efforts by the Office of Indian Energy and the authorities granted to the Office of Indian Energy under EPAct 2005 to accelerate the deployment of energy infrastructure on tribal lands. This FOA is consistent with the principles of tribal sovereignty and self-determination, with an all of-the-above energy strategy that recognizes the breadth of energy resources on tribal lands, and each tribe’s right to use them as they see fit. Projects sought under this FOA are fuel and technology neutral.

Through grants awarded as result of this FOA, DOE intends to provide financial support under the provisions of the Title V of EPAct 2005. Specifically, DOE’s Office of Indian Energy is soliciting applications from Indian Tribes, which include Alaska Native Regional Corporations and Village Corporations (hereafter referred collectively as “Indian Tribes”), Intertribal Organizations, and Tribal Energy Development Organizations, to:

  1. Topic Area 1: Install energy generating system(s) and/or energy efficiency measure(s) for Tribal Building(s)

  2. Topic Area 2: Deploy community-scale energy generating system(s) on Tribal Lands 

  3. Topic Area 3: Install energy system(s) for autonomous operation (independent of the traditional centralized electric power grid) to power a single or multiple essential tribal facilities during emergency situations or for tribal community resilience

Applications may also be submitted on behalf of an Indian Tribe(s) by an authorized Tribal Organization, provided evidence of that authority is included as part of the application. See the FOA for all eligibility requirements.

The intended results of the 50% cost-shared projects selected under this FOA are to reduce or stabilize energy costs and increase energy security and resilience for Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages. 

An informational webinar was held March 14, 2019, to describe the FOA in detail, presenters discussed who is eligible to apply, what an application needs to include, cost share and other requirements, how to ask questions, and how applications will be selected for funding. Download and view the presentation.

5/2/2019AmeriCorps

2019 AmeriCorps Indian Tribe Notice of Funding

AmeriCorps is accepting applications for both AmeriCorps operating and planning grants. Operating grants include AmeriCorps member positions to implement an intervention addressing a pressing community problem and planning grants will be used to develop new national service models and does not include member positions.

Only federally recognized Indian Tribes and tribal organizations controlled, sanctioned, or chartered by Indian Tribes are eligible to apply.
 
 
5/3/2019Grid Alternatives

Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund

The Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund aims to catalyze the growth of solar energy and expand solar job opportunities in tribal communities across the United States. The fund awards grants for projects that clearly focus on building renewable energy infrastructure, particularly new solar energy projects in tribal communities, that are feasible, cost-effective, and engage broad tribal community participation and support.
 

5/10/2019EPA

FY2018 Tribal Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Office of Transportation and Air Quality is soliciting applications nationwide for tribal projects that achieve significant reductions in diesel emissions and diesel emissions exposure, particularly from fleets located in areas designated as having poor air quality. EPA anticipates $2 million will be awarded to eligible Tribal applicants.

Under this solicitation, only tribal governments (or intertribal consortiums) or Alaska Native villages, which have jurisdiction over transportation or air quality, are eligible to apply for Tribal Clean Diesel grants.

EPA will host two webinars on Sept. 19, 2018 and Feb. 21, 2019 at 2 p.m. Eastern Time. 

5/10/2019DOI

Solicitation of Proposals to Build Tribal Energy Development Capacity (TEDC) 

The U.S. Department of Interior's (DOI) Bureau of Indian Affairs is accepting applications to develop tribal management, organizational, and technical capacity needed to maximize the economic impact of energy resource development on Indian land. The TEDC grant gives tribes the ability to develop or enhance their business and regulatory environment for energy resource development. Proposed projects must include building tribal capacity to develop organizational structures, business entity structures, or develop or enhance regulatory functions. All of the functions are related to building tribal energy development capacity for the purpose of strengthening tribal capacity for development and management of energy projects.

5/17/2019National Institute of Justice (NIJ)

Native Student Travel Scholarship Program: Connecting Science to Crime and Justice

The Office of Justice Programs’ National Institute of Justice announced travel scholarships to American Indian and Alaska Native students who are interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), or in the social and behavioral sciences (SBS), to study how those fields support criminal justice and public safety.

NIJ will support up to 15 American Indian and Alaska Native students to attend a criminal justice-related conference to explore the role of science in solving complex problems to increase public safety. Attendance at these conferences will allow students to explore the ways their interest in science applies to crime and justice, and to meet researchers and practitioners currently engaged in similar work. Additionally, students will learn about innovative, evidence-based, and technological solutions to justice issues.

Eligibility requirements include: 

  • Self-identify as an American Indian or Alaska Native person who is enrolled in, affiliated with, or a descendant of a federally recognized tribe.
  • Are at least 18 years of age at the time of application submission.
  • Are enrolled full-time at an eligible academic institution (including public and private colleges and universities, tribal colleges, community colleges, and vocational and technical schools).
  • Are an undergraduate or graduate student interested in research or evaluation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), or a social and behavioral science field (priority will be given to STEM students).
  • Must commit to attending the entire conference, including travel days before and after the conference.
  • Have not previously received a travel scholarship from NIJ under this program.
5/31/2019USDA

ReConnect Loan and Grant Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development will begin accepting the first round of applications for the Rural e-Connectivity Pilot Program (ReConnect Program) on April 23, 2019, through reconnect.usda.gov.

In March 2018, Congress provided $600 million to USDA to expand broadband infrastructure and services in rural America. On December 13, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the rules of the program, called “ReConnect,” including how the loans and grants will be awarded to help build broadband infrastructure in rural America.

USDA is making available up to $200 million in grants, $200 million in loan and grant combinations, and $200 million in low-interest loans. The application deadlines are:

  • May 31, 2019, for grants;
  • June 21, 2019, for loan/grant combinations; and
  • July 12, 2019, for low-interest loans.

Applicants can request technical assistance by filling out the contact form.

6/17/2019DOE

FY2019 Wind Energy Technologies Office Funding Opportunity Announcement

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $28.1 million in funding aimed at advancing wind energy nationwide across the land-based, offshore, and distributed wind sectors. 

Areas of interest under this funding opportunity include:

  • Wind Innovations for Rural Economic Development (WIRED) (up to $6.1M)

Projects will support rural electric utilities and communities through two subtopics: 1) development of distributed wind integrated with other distributed energy resource solutions, and 2) simplification of distributed energy project development through standardized solutions and technical assistance.

  • Utilizing and Upgrading National-level Facilities for Offshore Wind R&D (up to $7M)

Projects will conduct testing in support of innovative offshore wind research and development utilizing existing national-level testing facilities. A subtopic is included for projects that upgrade the capabilities of existing facilities to enable them to perform specific research activities.

  • Project Development for Offshore Wind Technology Demonstrations (up to $10M)

This area of interest will fund supplemental project development activities to enable demonstration of innovative technologies and/or methodologies that reduce offshore wind energy risk and cost, at planned U.S. offshore wind plants that will be operational no later than 2025.

  • Tall Towers for U.S. Wind Power (up to $5M)

Taller wind turbine towers can enable access to higher wind speeds, thereby increasing energy capture and reducing cost, but continued economies of scale are currently limited by transportation constraints. A project under this area of interest will validate manufacturing innovations and demonstrate cost-effective tall tower technology that can overcome the transportation constraints currently hindering U.S. wind turbine towers over 140 meters.

Concept papers for this funding opportunity are due April 25.

6/28/2019USDA

Broadband Pilot Program 

USDA is offering up to $600 million in loans and grants to help build broadband infrastructure in rural America: $200 million for grants (applications due May 31), $200 million for loan and grant combinations (applications due May 29), and $200 million for low-interest loans (applications due by June 28). 

Projects funded through this initiative must serve communities with fewer than 20,000 people with no broadband service or where service is slower than 10 megabits per second (mbps) download and 1 mbps upload.

States, local governments, nonprofit entities, for-profit corporations, a territory or possession of the United States, and Indian tribes are eligible to apply.

To help customers with the application process, USDA is holding a series of online webinars and regional in-person workshops. The full list is available on ReConnect Program's resource portal

7/1/2019DOI

Solicitation of Proposals for Economic Development Feasibility Study Funding from the Native American Business Development Institute

The U.S. Department of Interior's (DOI) Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development is soliciting proposals from federally recognized tribes and Alaska Native villages for technical assistance to hire consultants to perform feasibility studies of economic development opportunities. Feasibility studies may concern the viability of an economic development project or business or the practicality of a technology a Tribe or entity may choose to pursue. Grant selection priority will be given to applicants whose proposals focus on businesses and projects located in Opportunity Zones.

PendingUSDA

Rural Business-Cooperative Service

USDA’s Rural Business-Cooperative Service has published a June 8, 2017 Federal Register notice to reopen the application period and to expand the types of entities eligible to apply for the Rural Transportation grants originally noted in a Nov. 18, 2016 Federal Register notice.

Assistance provided to Rural Areas under the program has historically included the provision of onsite technical assistance to local and regional governments, public transit agencies, and related Nonprofit and for-profit organizations in Rural Areas; the development of training materials; and the provision of necessary training assistance to local officials and agencies in Rural Areas. The original notice limited eligible entities to “qualified national nonprofit organizations.” It is USDA’s intent that otherwise qualified national organizations that are not nonprofits also be eligible. Therefore, in the reissuance of the Notice, the Agency is removing nonprofit'' as a condition for eligibility to apply and removing any additional references to "nonprofit'' found in the Nov. 18, 2016, notice. Because removing reference to ``nonprofits'' as a condition of eligibility increases the number of potential applicants, USDA is reopening the application period for a period of 90 days from the date the reissued notice is published in the FEDERAL REGISTER to allow entities sufficient time to apply for the grants. USDA is uncertain, however, whether extending the application period will provide sufficient time to evaluate applications and to make awards. Therefore, the Agency is removing in the reissued notice reference to the award date of Sep. 30, 2017, which was found in the Nov. 18, 2016, notice.

 

Ongoing Opportunities

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.

BPA ​Tribal Set-Aside for Low-Income Weatherization

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.

DOE Office of Indian Energy Technical Assistance

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.

DOI Indian Loan Guaranty, Insurance, and Interest Subsidy Program

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.

Economic Development Assistance Programs, Department of Commerce

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.

EPA Brownfields Technical Assistance, Training, and Research

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.

Ford Family Foundation

The Ford Family Foundation is accepting applications to two funding opportunities for small or rural communites 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. 

Indian Land Tenure Foundation Grants

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.

IRS Clean Renewable Energy Bonds

The Internal Review Service (IRS) is accepting applications for a volume cap of up to $800 million to finance the costs of a qualified renewable energy facility or facilities, such as wind, closed- or open-loop biomass, geothermal, solar, small irrigation, and other facilities. The application must indicate the expected date of construction and when each facility will be placed in service. Eligible applicants include governmental bodies, including Tribes, and cooperative electric companies.

Environmental Infrastructure Loan Program 

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 mcarroll@rcac.org

NREL Decision Support for Tribes

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.

USDA Community Facilities Direct Loan & Grant Program

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 Emergency Community Water Assistance Grants

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 Emergency Watershed Protection Program

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 Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grants

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 Farm Bill Broadband Loans & Loan Guarantees

USDA is accepting applications to provide funds for the costs of construction, improvement, or acquisition of facilities and equipment needed to provide service at the broadband lending speed in eligible rural areas. To be eligible for a broadband loan, an applicant may be either a non-profit or for-profit organization, and must take one of the following forms: corporation; limited liability company (LLC); cooperative or mutual organization; a state or local unit of government; or Indian tribe or tribal organization.

Rural Business Development Grants

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.

Rural Community Development Initiative Grants

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.

Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Grants and Guaranteed Loans

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 Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program

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 enterpreneurs. 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.