Funding for Two Projects Supports President Biden’s Goals to Lower Energy Costs, Strengthen Energy Security, and Improve Resiliency in Tribal Communities
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced $3 million in funding for two projects aimed at transitioning Tribal College and University campuses to clean energy. This investment will support efforts to achieve energy sovereignty by lowering operating costs, providing a foundation for clean energy curricula, and serving as examples to be replicated at other institutions. This funding supports ongoing efforts by the Biden-Harris Administration to reduce energy costs for disadvantaged communities and increase energy security and resilience on college campuses.
“Investing in our Native youth is crucial to securing America’s clean energy future,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “The projects selected today will help reduce energy costs and train the workforce of the future, while contributing to the Biden-Harris Administration’s broader goal of achieving a net-zero carbon economy by 2050.”
Tribal Colleges and Universities play an integral role in cultivating Native American leaders and their respective communities. These investments will provide local sustainable solutions, reducing costs and reliance of fossil fuels. Specifically, these cost-shared projects, valued at nearly $3.4 million will reduce energy costs for these colleges by more than $1.6 million over the life of the systems and provide a training platform for a culturally relevant, clean energy curriculum.
The two projects competitively selected for negotiation of award are:
- Blackfeet Community College (Browning, MT): This project will install approximately 136-kW ground-mounted solar PV system on the Blackfeet Community College campus. This project combined with previous solar installations will transition the entire 17 building campus to 100% renewable energy and provide hands-on training for three students and the savings reinvested back into the College to help students and the community. (Requested DOE Funds: $630,834)
- Turtle Mountain Community College (Belcourt, ND): This project will install a 120-kW ground-mounted solar photovoltaic (PV) system and a 2,356 square foot 2-stage solar air heat (SolarWall®) system for the 15,550 square foot Career and Technical Education (CTE) facility where solar and renewable energy curriculum will be deployed and improved building energy efficiency through optimization of existing geothermal resources. These systems are estimated to reduce electricity costs of the CTE by over 50% and save more than $1 million over the life of the systems. The associated curriculum will target high-wage occupations that lead to employment and self-sufficiency for participants. (Requested DOE Funds: $2,400,532)
These cost-shared clean energy projects are the result of a competitive funding opportunity announcement (FOA) released April 12, 2023. Through these selected projects, the Office of Indian Energy continues its efforts to reduce or stabilize energy costs and increase energy security and resiliency.
Between 2010 and 2022, the DOE Office of Indian Energy invested over $120 million in more than 210 Tribal energy projects implemented across the contiguous 48 states and Alaska. These projects, valued at more than $215 million, are leveraged by over $93 million in recipient cost share. See the DOE Office of Indian Energy website for a map and summaries of these competitively funded projects.
Courtesy of the U.S. DOE