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Energy Department Announces Technical Assistance Opportunity for Alaska Tribal Clean Energy Deployment

Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Denali Commission (an independent federal agency that provides infrastructure and economic support throughout Alaska), launched the Alaska Strategic Technical Assistance Response Team (START) Program today.  The START Program is aimed at providing federally recognized Alaska Native governments with technical assistance to accelerate clean energy project deployment. This effort furthers the Administration and Department’s commitment to provide Tribes with the tools and resources they need to foster tribal energy self-sufficiency and sustainability.   The main objective is to advance economic competitiveness and create jobs.

“By leveraging our technical resources and expertise we will help Tribal communities, entrepreneurs and small businesses in Alaska create jobs, reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and build a sustainable energy future,” said Secretary Chu. “Working together, we can strengthen the energy security and economic competitiveness of Tribal homes and businesses.”

Through Alaska START, Department of Energy and Denali Commission experts will work directly with community-based project teams.  Together these groups will evaluate financial and technical feasibility and provide early development of technical assistance.   Therefore the projects are better positioned on financing and construction for the unique energy challenges and opportunities in Alaska. This initiative complements the Department of Energy Office of Indian Energy’s efforts to make reliable and technical information and training available to Tribal communities throughout the United States.

The START initiative will further serve to help Native American and Alaska Native communities increase local generation capacity.   In addition, enhance energy efficiency and conservation measures and create entrepreneurial and job opportunities in the new clean energy economy. Awards through this initiative will be provided through two programs:

1.  Alaska START Program:  Leveraging the combined technical expertise and resources of DOE and the Denali Commission <http://denali.gov/>.  This program will help selected Alaska Native communities conduct community-based planning and training and implement a variety of clean energy projects such as energy storage infrastructure, renewable energy deployment and housing energy efficiency.

2.  START Program:  U.S. Tribes selected for this parallel national program will be paired with DOE experts who have clean energy deployment experience relevant to the selected Tribe’s project development stage and technology.

For more information and application requirements for these technical assistance programs, please visit the DOE Office of Indian Energy website HERE <http://energy.gov/indianenergy/resources/start-program>.  Applications are due by January 15, 2012.

DOE’s Office of Indian Energy <http://energy.gov/indianenergy/office-indian-energy-policy-and-programs> coordinates energy education and programs that assist Tribes with energy development of Indian lands and homes.

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