DOE awards $ 12 million to tribal communities to maximize energy technology deployment

WASHINGTON DC – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced $ 12 million in funding to 13 Native American and Native Alaskan communities across the country for projects that will lower energy costs and increase safety and security. energy resilience. The selected projects will power their homes and communities, make their buildings more energy efficient, and install microgrids for essential services and resilience – essential to achieving the Biden administration’s goal of net zero carbon emissions. by 2050.

“The Department of Energy is committed to working with Native American and Native Alaskan communities to strengthen energy infrastructure on tribal lands,” said Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm. “These selections, the Office of Indian Energy’s firsts this year, underscore the Biden administration’s commitment to ensuring that communities disproportionately affected by climate change benefit directly from clean energy investments.”

Since 2010, the DOE’s Office of Indian Energy has invested more than $ 100 million in more than 190 tribal energy projects in the 48 contiguous states and Alaska, valued at more than $ 180 million. Through these grants, the Office of Indian Energy continues its efforts, in partnership with Indigenous communities, to maximize the deployment of clean energy solutions for the benefit of Native Americans and Alaska Natives.

Collectively, the selected projects are expected to generate nearly 3.5 megawatts of clean power generation and over 3.5 megawatt hours of battery storage, serving more than 1,300 tribal buildings and saving these communities $ 1.8 million. per year. The winners are:

  • The indigenous community of Akiachak (Akiachak, AK) will receive $ 123,220 to install energy efficient renovations, including furnaces in the laundry room, as well as an LED lighting upgrade and installation of backup thermostats, in five essential multi-use buildings in the village of Akiachak .
  • The Kipnuk Light Plant, a utility belonging to the tribe of the indigenous village of Kipnuk (Kipnuk, AK), will receive $ 855,978 to purchase, install and integrate a battery energy storage system into its off-grid community wind diesel grid that will replace more than 34,000 gallons of diesel fuel.
  • The Indian community of Metlakatla (Annette Island reserve, AK) will receive $ 1,031,110 to complete the electrical interconnection between its island community and the mainland community of Ketchikan, Alaska.
  • The birthplace of Diomedes (Diomede, AK) will receive $ 222,848 to install energy efficiency measures in the new store in Village, Alaska’s most remote community located on an island in the Bering Strait.
  • The Indigenous Village of Noatak and the Northwest Arctic Borough (Kotzebue, AK) will receive $ 1,997,265 to deploy a hybrid high-penetration photovoltaic and battery energy storage system for integration into the village’s diesel power grid, which is expected to save the community over $ 178,000 each year.
  • Aniak village (Aniak, AK) will receive $ 167,948 to install energy upgrades in four essential mixed-use buildings and the village community center.
  • The village of Chefornak (Chefornak, AK), will receive $ 854,964 and, in cooperation with its community utility Naterkag Light Plant, will purchase, install and integrate a battery storage system into its community wind diesel stand-alone grid.
  • Dry Creek Rancheria Pomo Indian Band (Geyserville, CA) will receive $ 556,984 to install solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on 25 homes and a community building, as well as to train 4-6 tribal members to install and maintain these systems.
  • The Pala Band of Mission Indians (Pala, California) will receive $ 3,000,000 to install solar PV systems and battery storage to provide stand-alone operations of several critical tribal facilities during emergencies, providing energy resilience.
  • San Pasqual Mission Indian Band (Valley Center, California) will receive $ 400,566 to install a tribal roommate community-scale solar PV system that will serve 80 households and a tribal government building.
  • The Florida Seminole Tribe (Hollywood, Florida) will receive $ 2,158,593 to install photovoltaic solar panels and battery storage at its rural Brighton reserve to power four essential facilities.
  • The Quinault Indian Nation (Taholah, WA) will receive $ 201,044 to install solar PV and battery storage for critical loads in their new 30,000 square foot community facility.
  • The Ute Mountain Ute Tribe (Towaoc, CO), through its Towaoc Solar Housing Initiative, will receive $ 427,997 to install solar PV systems in 20 homes and a supportive housing facility in the community.

“Too often, the tribes of our state have not received the essential support needed to withstand crises such as natural disasters or power outages. It is good to see the Quinault Nation of India receiving significant funds to support continued resilience measures against emergencies that could put families at risk. As a partner and spokesperson for all Washington State tribes in the Senate, I will continue to fight for tribes in our state to get the resources they need to build energy security and stronger communities. resilient in the face of climate change ”, declared US Senator Patty Murray.

“DOE’s partnership with Ute Mountain Ute and other tribal communities is key to building energy resilience, reducing emissions and addressing the climate crisis. This funding is essential for the development and prosperity of the Ute Mountain Ute tribe’s clean energy and will reduce their energy costs over time, ”said US Senator Michael Bennet.

“We know that tribal energy projects not only benefit our environment, but they also help improve community resilience and foster economic development in the Indian country. This is why I am happy to see this grant from the Department of Energy awarded to three tribes in California. This funding will help tribes maximize their clean energy potential while building tribal capacities and creating jobs, tackling the climate crisis and saving tribal communities money on their energy bills. As we move forward in the discussions on improving our infrastructure and building a clean energy economy for all, I will continue to work in the Senate to ensure that California’s tribal communities are not left behind. “, said US Senator Alex Padilla.

“I am very happy to see these investments in our Alaskan Native communities by the Department of Energy. Alaska is unique; our often ruthless terrain and environment present many challenges for our remote villages. Energy is a basic need and serves as the basis for economic opportunities and prosperity. Our indigenous communities should be entrusted with the development of their own lands and resources. This funding will go a long way in increasing energy efficiency, harnessing natural resources, reducing long-term energy costs and improving air quality. I sincerely congratulate Alaska grant recipients and look forward to seeing how the implementation of this funding will advance their communities, ”said US Representative Don Young.

“Harnessing underutilized energy resources and stabilizing energy costs, while dealing with climate change, is exactly what our communities in South Florida need. I am proud that the Seminole Tribe is at the forefront of this vital solar mission in the Sunshine State, ”said US Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

“Climate change has shown us time and time again that our infrastructure is no longer up to the task of providing electricity to many communities. With extreme heat, raging forest fires and increasing pressure on our energy grid, it’s time to reimagine what our infrastructure looks like so that it can meet the needs of the 21st century. This project will ensure the Dry Creek Rancheria Tribe has the energy they need in a cleaner, safer and more cost effective way, and it will serve as a new playbook for communities across the United States to follow ” , said US Representative Jared Huffman.

Learn more about these projects. To learn more about DOE’s recent investments in tribal communities, visit the Office of Indian Energy’s Project Successes page.

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