DOE to fund renewable energy projects on Indian land

By Erin Voegele | November 28, 2016

The U.S. DOE recently announced plans to provide up to $6 million in funding to support the deployment of energy efficiency and clean energy on Indian land.

According to the DOE, tribal lands comprise approximately 2 percent of U.S. land, but contain approximately 5 percent of renewable energy resources. Although these lands have the potential to generate more than 9 million MW of renewable energy, ready access to electricity is still considered a luxury in many tribal communities. The DOE notes as many as 15,000 Navajo homes still lack electricity, while 175 remote Alaska village populations rely almost exclusively on diesel for electricity and heating oil for heat. 

The DOE’s Office of Indian Energy is soliciting applications from Indian Tribes to install energy efficiency measures and clean energy systems on tribal buildings through either deep energy retrofits or energy efficiency measures and clean energy systems, or to deploy clean energy systems on a community scale.

Under the second topic area, clean energy systems on a community scale, the DOE said is it soliciting applications for the deployment of at least 250 kW (or equivalent for heating and/or cooling) of clean energy systems on Indian lands to provide electricity and/or heating or cooling to many buildings or to an entire tribal community. Any technology proposed must be based on a prior energy audit or industrial energy assessment.

Eligible renewable energy systems for electric power generation include, but are not limited to, solar photovoltaic, biomass, including waste-to-energy, wind power, hydropower and other renewable energy hybrid systems. Heating and cooling systems include, but are not limited to, the use of biomass for high-efficiency combustion systems, active solar thermal systems for space or water heating, wind energy for heating, direct-use hydrothermal resources for water and space heating, or other renewable energy hybrid systems for heating and/or cooling.

Applications are due Feb. 7. The Office of Indian Energy plans to conduct an information webinar on Dec. 1. Additional information is available under DE-FOA-0001660 on the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Exchange website