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For the second time this month, a federal agency has revived a long-dormant tribal purchasing preference to buy clean energy from tribes. 

The Department of Energy has announced a solicitation for renewable energy credits, or RECs, from tribal majority-owned businesses. The move follows a similar announcement earlier this month from the General Services Administration and marks a potential step forward in utilizing the Indian Energy Purchase Preference (IEPP) program to purchase 47,500 megawatt hours of clean energy. That announcement was met with some concern that the program was not accessible to smaller tribes.  

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The IEPP, established by Congress in 2005, allows federal agencies to prioritize purchasing electricity and energy products from tribal businesses, provided their offers are competitive with the market. This solicitation by the DOE seeks 7,000 megawatt hours of carbon-free RECS, which are effectively contracts certifying the provided energy stemmed from a renewable project or source. 

“WAPA is proud to be paving the way for meaningful collaboration with Tribes as they gear up to play a significant part in our national transition to clean energy,” according to Tracey LeBeau, CEO of the Western Area Power Administration (WAPA), which is leading the DOE effort. “Doing business with Tribes boosts reservation-based economic sustainability in addition to the surrounding communities. 

The solicitation aligns with President Joe Biden’s goal of transitioning the federal government to 100% clean energy by 2030. The White House Council on Native American Affairs has actively pushed the IEPP as part of that plan, according to a DOE statement.

Per the solicitation, tribal majority-owned businesses that generate or aggregate RECs are eligible. 

Responses to the solicitation must be emailed to Sharol Lynch at [email protected]. Solicitation responses are due by June 14 at 4:30 p.m. PST. 

About The Author
Chez Oxendine
Staff Writer
Chez Oxendine (Lumbee-Cheraw) is a staff writer for Tribal Business News. Based in Oklahoma, he focuses on broadband, Indigenous entrepreneurs, and federal policy. His journalism has been featured in Native News Online, Fort Gibson Times, Muskogee Phoenix, Baconian Magazine, and Oklahoma Magazine, among others.
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