DOE awards $9 million for clean energy generation in 13 American tribal communities

The US Department of Energy announced nearly $9 million in funding to 13 American Indian and Alaska Native communities for 14 projects to increase energy security and resilience on tribal lands. The projects consist of microgrids, residential solar and more. The 14 projects will result in 3.3 MW of new clean energy generation and more than 3.6 MWh of energy storage.

“Tribal communities are imbued with knowledge and ingenuity around sustainable energy infrastructure and they are aimed to help lead the country as we make an equitable transition to clean,” said US Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “With this investment, DOE is continuing its work with American Indian and Alaska Native communities to build stronger, more resilient tribal nations.”

The selected applications are:

  • The Coeur d’Alene Tribe (Plummer, Idaho) will install solar PV on a new youth recreation center. (Award Amount: $68,129)
  • Colusa Indian Community Council (Colusa, California) will expand existing medium-voltage distribution to seven homes within their new development to supply the new homes with reliable power using the Tribe’s existing co-generation power plant and microgrid. (Award Amount: $517,200)
  • The Karuk Tribe (Happy Camp, California) will install solar PV for its casino and wellness center, saving an estimated $9.8 million over the life of the systems. (Award Amount: $1,390,680)
  • The Karuk Tribe (Happy Camp, California) will install solar PV and battery storage on 39 elsewhere’ homes to power critical loads during grid outages. (Award Amount: $426,757)
  • Kawerak (Nome, Alaska) will install an Organic Rankine Cycle system using local geothermal resources at Pilgrim Hot Springs to electrify and heat 18 existing tribal buildings, a water well, a water pump house and two bathing pools, allowing economic development of this historic site located 60 miles north of Nome, Alaska. (Award Amount: $1,524,376)
  • The La Jolla Band of Luiseno Indians (Pauma Valley, California) will install solar PV and energy storage to supply electrical power to the La Jolla Trading Post, the only store and gas station on the La Jolla Indian Reservation, saving over $1.3 million over the life of the system and providing hands-on training for tribal members. (Award Amount: $511,610)
  • The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe (Cass Lake, Minnesota) will install solar PV to power nine existing and currently being constructed tribal buildings, saving over $2.5 million over the life of the systems. (Award Amount: $729.049)
  • The Lummi Nation (Bellingham, Washington) will install solar PV on a new health and dental facility, saving money and providing training for seven tribal members. (Award Amount: $158,019)
  • The Metlakatla Indian Community (Metlakatla, Alaska) will rebuild and install key components of two hydropower turbines and replace an aging battery to increase turbine energy production by 20% and reduce use of diesel-powered generators. (Award Amount: $967,258)
  • The Muckleshoot Indian Tribe (Auburn, Washington) will install solar PV on three tribal buildings and provide training for tribal members. (Award Amount: $248,448)
  • The Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians (Corning, California) will install solar PV on three buildings at a local clinic, reducing electrical costs by 94% and saving $36,470 annually. (Award Amount: $203,866)
  • The Pueblo of Laguna (Laguna, New Mexico) will install solar PV on community buildings in three villages and save 70% in electricity costs. (Award Amount: $174,765)
  • The Puvurnaq Power Company (Kongiganak, Alaska), a tribally owned village utility, will purchase, install and integrate solar PV into an existing wind diesel battery power system in the Village of Kongiganak, allowing the diesel engines to be turned off 56% of the year and save over 48,000 gallons of fuel annually. (Award Amount: $674,330)
  • The Navajo Nation Tribal Government-Kayenta Chapter (Kayenta, Arizona) will install solar PV, battery storage and backup propane generators to provide clean electricity to 24 unpowered homes in the Comb Ridge/El Capitan community in the Kayenta Chapter of the Navajo Nation and create five full-time temporary positions and three full-time positions for the life of the system. (Award Amount: $1,185,409)

“For far too long, the needs of tribal families have been placed on Congress’ backburner. But the federal government has treaty and trust obligations to uphold to tribes. Since coming to Congress in 2017, I’ve worked to ensure we hold up our end of the bargain, and work to expand access to broadband, electricity, clean, running water, and more for families across Indian Country,” said US Representative Tom O’Halleran (Arizona).

News item from DOE

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