Indian Energy Success Stories

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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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,...

September 27, 2016
Photo from Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians.
Fond du Lac Band Poised to Double 2020 Clean Energy Goal

The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians (the Band) held a ceremony celebrating the completion of a 1-megawatt (MW) solar project on...

August 22, 2016
Site of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s Oxford Solar Project. Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL
Southern Ute Indian Tribe to Begin Construction on Solar Project

Construction on the Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s 1.3-megawatt ground-mounted solar array in Ignacio, Colorado, will begin in early September,...

July 27, 2016
On July 25, Office of Indian Energy Director Chris Deschene joined Soboba Tribal Council Vice-Chair Isaiah Vivanco, other members of the tribal council and staff, and partners from Southern California Edison and Optimum Group for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the installation of the Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians’ new solar system. Photo from the Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians.
Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians Celebrates Initial Step Toward Achieving Its Tribal Energy Vision

On July 25, the Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians (Tribe) celebrated the installation of a 1-megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic (PV) system on its...

June 15, 2016
After two seawall breaches and associated disaster declarations, the Quinault Indian Nation, located on Washington's Olympic Peninsula, has decided to move two of its villages to safer, more climate-resilient locations. With the help of DOE, the Tribe is working to ensure that the relocated village of Taholah has a resilient energy system. Photo by Eliza Hotchkiss, NREL
DOE Assists Quinault Indian Nation with Plans for a Climate-Resilient Community

For many centuries, the 23-mile stretch of Pacific coastline on Washington's Olympic Peninsula has been home to the Quinault Indian Nation (Tribe)....

April 21, 2016
New Biomass System Helps Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin Reduce Its Carbon Footprint
New Biomass System Helps Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin Reduce Its Carbon Footprint
On April 20, 2016, Menominee Tribal Enterprises (MTE) celebrated the official opening of its biomass combined heat and power (CHP) district energy ...
March 1, 2016
Concept drawing of the Agua Caliente Band’s Heritage Plaza Parking Lot Project, which involves installing solar arrays, partly funded by a DOE grant, on carport shade structures. Photo from Larry Fossum, Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians.
Agua Caliente Band's Pursuit of Energy Self-Sufficiency Gains Momentum
The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians in the Palm Springs area of California is a shining example of the type of leadership tribes can provide...
February 12, 2016
The Yukon River Inter-tribal Watershed Council replaced the village store's existing forced-air furnace with high-efficiency boilers and retrofitted the lighting.
Sustaining a Vision: DOE Funding Boosts Building Energy Efficiency in Yukon River Basin

The Yukon River Inter-tribal Watershed Council (YRITWC) is a coalition of sovereign tribal and First Nations governments founded in 1997 to...

January 11, 2016
Indian Energy Success Stories
Southern Ute Indian Tribe Solar Project Achieves Milestone
The Southern Ute Indian Tribe has achieved a major milestone toward developing a roughly 1-megawatt solar photovoltaic (PV) system that will genera...
December 17, 2015
Shishmaref Gets DOE Support on Energy and Resiliency
In early November 2015, with assistance from START members, Shishmaref completed a 2.4-kilowatt wind project funded by a DOE grant.
December 1, 2015
Solar Projects on the Rise for New Mexico’s Picuris and Zia Pueblos
Solar Projects on the Rise for New Mexico’s Picuris and Zia Pueblos
The Picuris Pueblo built its first net zero energy building, a solar-powered fire station and renovated gymnasium with the help of DOE.
October 22, 2015
Winning the Future:  Navajo-Hopi Land Commission Leverages DOE Grant to Advance Solar Ranch Project
Winning the Future: Navajo-Hopi Land Commission Leverages DOE Grant to Advance Solar Ranch Project
Under the Navajo-Hopi Land Settlement Act of 1974 for the Paragon-Bisti Ranch was set aside for the benefit of Navajo families (relocatees) living ...
October 7, 2015
Gwitchyaa Zhee Gwich’in Tribal Government Counteracts High Energy Costs, Climate Challenges with Building Energy Retrofits
Seeking to reduce its reliance on imported diesel fuel and to lower operating costs, increase quality of life, and serve as a model of self-suffici...
September 16, 2015
The Se̓liš Ksanka Ql̓ispe̓ Dam, located in Polson, Montana, is the first tribal owned hydroelectric facility. Photo by Jami Alley.
Montana Tribes Realize Long-Held Vision of Acquiring Kerr Dam: Interview with Energy Keepers Inc. CEO Brian Lipscomb
A short interview with Brian Lipscomb, president and CEO of Energy Keepers, Inc., a tribal corporation established in the fall of 2012 to manage th...
June 17, 2014
EERE Success Story—Enhanced Efficiency of Wind-Diesel Power Generation in Tribal Villages
This project is benefiting tribal communities in Alaska with fuel savings, increased revenues to local utilities, reduced heating cost, as well as ...
November 8, 2013
EERE Success Story—Idaho: Nez Perce Tribe Energy-Efficient Facilities Upgrade
The Nez Perce Tribe is located in the Pacific Northwest, where electrical energy costs are traditionally very low due to the hydropower generated i...
July 13, 2013
Students and instructors at Oglala Lakota College designed, connected and built a mobile solar energy system over the course of two days. | Photo courtesy of Oglala Lakota College.
EERE Success Story—Oglala Lakota College gets Hands-On Training for Off-Grid Solar
EERE Success Story—Oglala Lakota College gets Hands-On Training for Off-Grid Solar