Secretary Chu Announces New Efforts to Promote Clean Energy in Tribal Communities

WASHINGTON–(ENEWSPF)–January 19, 2011.  U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced today two new initiatives to promote tribal energy development and continue strengthening the partnership between the Department of Energy and tribal nations. Up to $10 million will be available this year through DOE’s Tribal Energy Program to support the evaluation, development and deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects on tribal lands that will help save energy and money, expand the use of renewable energy resources, and promote economic development for tribal communities.

Secretary Chu also announced that the Department’s Tribal Summit with American Indian and Alaska Native leaders will be held on May 5, 2011 in Washington, D.C. The Department’s new Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs will work closely with the Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs in reaching out to tribal leaders in the design of the Summit.

“Tribal Nations are well-positioned to take advantage of the benefits of clean energy.  These efforts will help Tribal Nations determine the best projects for their lands and ultimately which technologies to adopt, both improving the environment and supporting long-term clean energy jobs,” said Secretary Chu.

Indian Tribes, Tribal Energy Resource Development Organizations and Tribal Consortia on whose lands the projects will be located are eligible to apply for the available funding.  The funds will support three project areas: first steps and capacity building, energy efficiency development and deployment, and renewable energy development and deployment.

Up to $1.5 million is expected to support the projects focused on capacity building and strategic planning, which can include energy resource and infrastructure analyses, the development of an energy organization, and training programs.  The energy efficiency and renewable energy deployment initiatives are expected to receive up to $4 million each to study the technical and economic feasibility of future energy efficiency improvements or renewable energy projects.  The full Funding Opportunity Announcements will be available online at or accessible through DOE’s Tribal Energy Program website.  This funding is subject to continuing congressional appropriations.

DOE’s Tribal Energy Program promotes tribal energy sufficiency, economic development and employment on tribal lands through the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. The program, part of DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, provides financial and technical assistance to tribes for the evaluation and development of their renewable energy resources, implementation of energy efficiency to reduce energy use, and provides education and training to help build the knowledge and skills essential for sustainable energy projects. Learn more about the Tribal Energy Program.