Indian Energy Blog

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December 16, 2019
Bernadette Cuthair at Program Review.
Indian Energy Champion: Bernadette Cuthair
Director of Planning & Development for the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe talks about her role in advancing the Tribe’s energy goals.
October 30, 2019
People standing in the National Wind Technology Center.
Indian Energy Champion: Natalie Hanson
Executive Director of Nuvista Light and Electric Cooperative talks about her role in creatively addressing Alaska’s energy challenges.
June 19, 2019
Team of people installing solar panels on a house.
DOE-Funded Solar Project Helps Spokane Tribe Reduce Homeowners’ Monthly Energy Cost from $240 to Less Than $9
When completed this summer, the Initiative will add 650 kilowatts of solar capacity to tribal buildings and save about $2.8 million over 30 years.
February 25, 2019
Photo of boxpower solar containers in Alaska.
DOE Co-Funded PV Project Brings Fuel Cost Savings to Three Alaska Native Villages—Starting With Buckland
The roughly $2-million project involves installing over 400 kilowatts of photovoltaic arrays in these villages.
February 6, 2019
Photo of Hughes solar project.
Can Solar Work in Alaska? Hughes Village Says Yes.
The Native Village of Hughes just installed the bones of a 120-kilowatt solar photovoltaic system that will cut diesel use and costs.
October 23, 2018
A man standing in front of wind turbines
Former Tribal Energy Intern Follows the Wind to a Career at NREL
Former intern Nick Johnson has DOE to thank for much of his growth toward a career as a mechanical engineer at the National Renewable Energy Lab.
September 13, 2018
Photo of sign for Kodiak, Alaska
Kodiak Caps Off Multi-Year DOE Alaska Regional Energy Road Show
In this photo essay, NREL’s Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist zooms in on Alaska’s assets and adaptability.
August 27, 2018
A large solar array installed in Oregon.
The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation Trap the Sun to Offset Energy Costs
The Tribe turned a strip of its land in Oregon into nearly $12,000 in annual energy cost savings.
July 23, 2018
Photo of 2018 interns.
Desire to Give Back Drives Native Student Interns
Giving back to their communities is a common motivator for the Native students who serve as summer interns with the Office of Indian Energy.
July 17, 2018
Screenshot of the user-friendly Tribal Energy Atlas tool
New Interactive Tool Puts Tribal Energy Resource Data in Tribes’ Hands
First-of-its-kind interactive geospatial application enables tribes to conduct their own analyses of installed energy projects and more.
June 8, 2018
Pala Band of Mission Indians Sees Savings from Solar-Powered Fire Station, Looks Ahead to Continued Energy Development
Pala Band of Mission Indians Sees Savings from Solar-Powered Fire Station, Looks Ahead to Continued Energy Development
The Tribe has turned to renewable energy as a means of lowering energy costs and gaining independence from the grid.
May 29, 2018
Photo of Chelsea Chee and other 2013 interns.
Former Office of Indian Energy Intern Recognized with National Award for Leadership in Diversity and Equity
Chelsea Chee’s leadership across several major projects in New Mexico, including her Natives in STEM project, helped earn her the award.
February 2, 2018
2015 Office of Indian Energy interns.
Sixteen Years of Indian Energy Interns: Where Are They Now?
The Office of Indian Energy’s college student internship program develops Native leaders in STEM and tribal energy careers.
January 23, 2018
Two interns at the Navajo Nation in Arizona
What It’s Like to Be an Indian Energy Intern: Part Two
Read Katie Hall’s reports from the field as a 2017 summer intern with the DOE Office of Indian Energy.
January 23, 2018
A group of interns and Sandia Indian Energy Program Lead at Monument Valley.
What It’s Like to Be an Indian Energy Intern: Part One
Summer 2017 intern Teri Allery shares her experience with the DOE Office of Indian Energy college internship program.
January 11, 2018
Picuris Pueblo solar array.
Community Solar to Meet 100% of Energy Costs for New Mexico Tribe
A DOE co-funded 1-megawatt community solar array will offset the cost of the entire energy load of Picuris Pueblo.
September 19, 2017
Photo of a group of children learning about solar panels
DOE Joins AISES Pledge to Encourage Natives in STEM
DOE has joined AISES in its #PledgeNativesInSTEM campaign, an effort to raise awareness and facilitate dialogue on the importance of STEM for natives.
September 13, 2017
Photo of a rooftop with solar panels on it.
Energy Retrofit to Cut St. Paul Island Airport Facility's Annual Costs by $200K, Double Usable Space
A DOE-cofunded retrofit of a remote Alaskan airport facility will reduce electricity use by 54% while nearly doubling the contribution of wind power.
July 25, 2017
Photo of solar photovoltaic array
Southern Ute Indian Tribe Dedicates 1.3-MW Community Solar PV System
On July 24, the Southern Ute Indian Tribe held a dedication ceremony in honor of its newly commissioned and fully operational Oxford Solar Project.
July 11, 2017
IE director with students.
Office of Indian Energy Congratulates High School Energy Challenge Winners
Director William Bradford had the opportunity to host the winning students of the Energy Challenge for American Indian and Alaska Native Youth.
May 11, 2017
Photo by Mary Tesche, Assistant Administrator, City of Akutan
Technical Assistance Lowers Energy Costs for Akutan
In April 2015, the Native Village of Akutan requested technical assistance from the DOE Office of Indian Energy.
May 10, 2017
The DOE Office of Indian Energy and GRID Alternatives joined the Bishop Paiute Tribe at an Earth Day event to celebrate 56 completed residential solar installations—as well as the benefits they’ll bring to the Tribe for generations to come. Photo from GRID Alternatives
Bishop Paiute Tribe Celebrates a Milestone in Quest for Energy Self-Sufficiency
Residential solar installations co-funded by two DOE Office of Indian Energy grants bring electricity cost savings and job skills for tribal members.
April 28, 2017
On April 7, members of the Seneca Nation of Indians celebrated the commissioning of a 1.7-megawatt wind turbine on their tribal land in western New York.
Seneca Nation Celebrates Commissioning of 1.7-MW Wind Turbine with DOE Support
On April 7, the Seneca Nation of Indians commissioned a 1.7-megawatt (MW) wind turbine on Seneca Nation Reservation land in western New York.
April 13, 2017
The Northway Washeteria and Water Treatment Plant is one of four community buildings that underwent energy assessments to identify potential energy- and cost-saving opportunities. Photo from Northway Village Council.
Alaska Energy in Action: Northway Identifies Energy Savings Opportunities

In response to a technical assistance request from the Northway Village Council, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Indian Energy...

March 31, 2017
On Feb. 28, 2017, Office of Indian Energy Director Chris Deschene (second from right) joined the Coeur d'Alene Tribe to celebrate its upgraded Benewah Market in Plummer, Idaho. From left: Joe Peone (Bonneville Power Administration), Alfred M. Nomee (Coeur d’Alene Tribe), James Alexie (Coeur d’Alene Tribe), Chris Deschene, and Ken Johnston (Bonneville Power Administration). Photo from Jennifer Fletcher, Coeur d'Alene Tribe Council Fires Newspaper
Efficiency Upgrades Help Coeur d'Alene Tribe Save Energy and Costs at its Benewah Market

On Feb. 28, 2017, the Coeur d'Alene Tribe held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the successful retrofit of its Benewah Market in Plummer,...