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WASHINGTON — Tribal energy projects will receive a $35 million boost from two new U.S. Department of Energy funding opportunities.

The Clean Energy Technology Deployment on Tribal Lands program is offering $20 million in funding to establish clean energy infrastructure across Indian Country, while the Powering Unelectrified Tribal Buildings program will distribute $15 million to bring electricity to currently unserved buildings on tribal lands.

“DOE is dedicated to reducing energy costs in Tribal communities and ensuring they are not left behind in the transition to a clean energy future,” U.S Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said in a statement. “The President’s Agenda is making investments in low-cost and reliable clean energy across Indian Country — helping to power Native communities that too often are left in the dark or without affordable electricity.” 

At the seventh biennial Tribal Clean Energy Summit held in Washington D.C. last month, senior DOE officials held a roundtable with tribal leaders to explore cost-effective solutions to clean energy that strengthens tribal infrastructures.

The new funding opportunity builds on those discussions, as well as efforts by the Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs and the authorities granted under the Energy Policy Act of 2005, to increase energy resilience for tribal communities, according to the department.

Between 2010 and 2021, DOE invested more than $114 million in more than 200 tribal energy projects across Indian Country. These investments have resulted in more than 43 megawatts of new electricity generation installed and have helped to power more than 8,600 tribal buildings.

The Office of Indian Energy Funding Opportunity Exchange is managing the application process for the two new grants. The office also will host informational webinars on each funding opportunity on Nov. 29 and Dec. 1.

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