DOE to fund energy infrastructure deployment on tribal lands

By Erin Voegele | February 20, 2018

The U.S. Department of Energy has announced up to $11.5 million in new funding to deploy energy infrastructure on tribal lands. Bioenergy projects are among those eligible to apply for the funding.

The funding is being offered through the DOE Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs and aims to support Native American and Alaska Native communities interested in harnessing underdeveloped energy resources.

According to the DOE, this is the first time that the Office of Indian Energy is issuing a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) on an entirely fuel- and technology-neutral basis. Biomass, biogas, solid waste, waste gases, landfill or sewage gas, natural gas, fuel and gas oils, coal, lignite, coke, waste process heat, photovoltaic, wind, hydropower, solar thermal, and geothermal are among the eligible energy technologies listed in the FOA.

The FOA focuses on three specific topic areas. Topic Area 1 focuses on installing energy efficiency measures and/or energy generating systems for tribal buildings that may include deep energy retrofits, energy generating systems, or a combination of energy efficiency measures. Topic Area 2 focuses on the deployment of community-scale energy generating systems on tribal lands to provide electricity to a substantial number or buildings or an entire tribal community. Topic Area 3 focuses on the installation of energy systems for autonomous operation to power single or multiple essential tribal loads during emergency situations, or to power a substantial number of essential tribal loads for community resilience.

Selected projects will take on a 50 percent cost-share. The DOE indicated it plans to make six to 15 awards under this FOA. Individual awards will range from $50,000 to $500,000 for Topic Area 1. $250,000 to $1 million for Topic Area 2, and $50,000 to $1 million for Topic Area 3.

An informational webinar is scheduled for Feb. 27. Applications are due April 19. Projects selected to receive funding are expected to be announced later this year.

Additional information is available on the DOE EERE-Exchange website under DE-FOA-0001847: Energy Infrastructure Deployment on Tribal Lands—2018.