Members of the DOE Loan Programs Office (LPO) and Office of Indian Energy attended the 40th Annual NAFOA Conference in Seattle. LPO staff met with tribal leaders, financial institutions, and others engaged in tribal energy projects to discuss needs and resources for financing tribal energy projects, including LPO’s Tribal Energy Loan Guarantee Program (TELGP).
The NAFOA Conference gathers semiannually in the Spring and Fall to discuss the current trends in tribal economic development and share resources with tribal financial professionals. On April 4, LPO Senior Advisor John Lushetsky moderated a panel, “Energy Project Financing for Tribes of All Sizes,” focused on resources available in the world of public and private energy project financing, as well as success stories from tribes currently taking advantage of these funds. Office of Indian Energy Deputy Director David Conrad also participated in the panel.
Among the topics discussed at the NAFOA Conference was the recent language included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022. The Act outlines that TELGP may also provide direct loans through the U.S. Treasury’s Federal Finance Bank through the end of Fiscal Year 2022. Previously, TELGP had only been able to provide partial loan guarantees for tribal energy projects. The issue of direct lending was raised during a May 2021 listening session with LPO Executive Director Jigar Shah, as well as other discussions with tribal leaders since the launch of TELGP in 2018.
“Access to capital for energy projects is critical for tribes to pursue economic development and lower energy costs for their citizens,” said NAFOA Executive Director, Rico Frias. “Direct loan authority is a significant enhancement to the DOE Tribal Energy Loan Guarantee Program. We look forward to working with LPO to ensure that our Member Tribes and Indian Country understand how to take advantage of the important new authority happening this year, as well as to support Tribes’ access to direct loans in the future.”
LPO will continue its outreach to tribal leaders, including attending the Reservation Economic Summit from May 23-26. To speak with someone about TELGP, please email TELGP@hq.doe.gov.