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Energy | Environment

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Elizabeth Perez received two awards in September: one from the National Minority Supplier Development Council honoring her general contracting and consulting firm, San Diego-based GC Green Inc., and another from her tribe in recognition for her work in fighting climate change. 

While Perez said she was honored to be named the Minority Veteran Owned Firm of the Year through the NMSDC, her tribe’s recognition had special meaning for to her. 

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The newly passed Inflation Reduction Act is the “most aggressive action on climate and clean energy in American history” and makes a host of key changes that should allow tribes better access to participate in those projects.

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A three-year, nearly $1.7 million Department of Energy grant will help a Native-led renewable energy nonprofit weatherize 30 homes across three reservations.

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The Fort Berthold reservation in North Dakota lights up at night like candles on a birthday cake in a darkened room, illuminated by scads of oil well rigs that are flaring off millions of dollars worth of natural gas annually. 

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MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Solar entrepreneur Robert Blake believes renewable energy represents a natural expansion for tribes, both economically and culturally. 

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OAKLAND, Calif. — A Native-focused solar energy  nonprofit will open requests for proposals totaling $1.7 million in funding over three grant programs this summer.

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Based on feedback from tribes, the Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office has made several key changes to a debt capital program intended to help spur energy development projects in Indian Country. 

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LAME DEER, Mont. — The Northern Cheyenne Tribe in Montana has partnered with solar nonprofit Indigenized Energy Initiative to develop the $4 million, 1.25-megawatt White River Community Solar Project on the tribe’s reservation.

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Tribes across Indian Country will be launching a slew of renewable energy projects this year with help from the U.S. Department of Energy. For one tribe, it’s more about caring for Mother Earth than balancing the checkbook.

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Thanks to a new infusion of capital, the Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund is itself poised for acceleration. 

The solar project development organization under the umbrella of Oakland, Calif.-based GRID Alternatives received $12 million in funding from Bezos Earth Fund, a philanthropic venture led by Amazon.com Inc. CEO Jeff Bezos that invested $38 million in five Native nonprofits.