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Alaska Tribal Clean Energy Projects Awarded $336,000 from U.S. Energy Department

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to strengthening partnerships with Tribal Nations and supporting tribal energy development, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced the award of $336,000 to Alaska tribes for clean energy projects. Nationally, the Department awarded 19 clean energy projects more than $6.5 million. These competitively selected projects will allow Native American Tribes to advance clean energy within their communities by assessing local energy resources, developing renewable energy projects and deploying clean energy technologies. These projects will help Tribal communities across the country save money and create new job and business opportunities.

“As President Obama highlighted in the State of the Union, the Administration is committed to building an American economy that lasts and leverages our nation’s clean energy resources,” said Secretary Chu. “The awards announced today will help Tribes across the country advance a sustainable energy future for their local communities, spur economic development, and advance innovative clean energy technologies.”

The Energy Department has taken a number of steps to strengthen its support for Tribal energy development and empower Tribal leaders to make informed decisions that promote community economic development. Over the past year, the Department has established the Indian Country Energy Infrastructure Working Group with Tribal leaders from across the country and launched programs to provide technical assistance and support to help Tribal communities, colleges and universities deploy energy projects and gain skills in energy development and financing. 

Since 2002, the Energy Department’s Tribal Energy Program has provided $36 million to 159 tribal energy projects.

The Alaska projects include:

Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association, Inc. ($221,911; Anchorage, AK): This project will study the viability of the current tidal resource near False Pass, provide an economic analysis of developing a tidal energy project there, and provide environmental and permitting analyses.

Port Graham Village Council ($113,721; Port Graham, AK): This project will conduct pre-construction activities, including permitting, design, financing agreements, and operation and business plans, for a biomass-powered heating system. When operational, this system will provide heat to five community buildings, reducing diesel consumption by 9,600 gallons annually. 

The tribal energy projects announced today were selected as a result of a DOE funding opportunity announcement issued last year. A summary of all 19 selected tribal energy projects is available HERE.

Under the authority of Title V of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Tribal Energy Program, in coordination with the Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs, provides financial and technical assistance to Indian Tribes for the evaluation and development of their renewable energy resources, implementation of energy efficiency to reduce energy use, and provides education and training to help build the knowledge and skills essential for sustainable tribal energy projects.

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