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Upcoming Significant DOE Grants: $50 million for up to $5 million Tribal Clean Energy Grants and $15 million for Tribal College Clean Energy Grants

February 17, 2023
2 minute read

Upcoming Significant DOE Grants: $50 million for up to $5 million Tribal Clean Energy Grants and $15 million for Tribal College Clean Energy Grants

February 17, 2023
2 minute read

Authored By

Mark Bender

Mark C. Bender

Special Counsel

John Clancy

John L. Clancy

Shareholder

Practices

Clean Energy Grant

On February 17, 2023, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Indian Energy announced $50 million in additional funding for clean energy technology deployment on tribal lands. Individual awards for clean energy technology may range from $100,000 to $5 million, depending on the area of interest. DOE anticipates making 10 to 25 awards during this round.

Under the grant opportunity, DOE will require only 20% recipient cost share from non-Federal sources. Moreover, DOE may allow a reduced cost share down to 10% based on poverty rate and median household income of the tribal community relative to the statewide median household income.

Eligible projects (“Areas of Interest”) include:

(1) installation of clean energy generating systems and/or energy efficiency measures for tribal buildings;  

(2) deployment of community-scale clean energy generating systems or energy storage on tribal lands;

(3) installation of integrated energy systems for autonomous operation (independent of the traditional centralized electric power grid) to power a single or multiple essential tribal buildings during emergency situations or for tribal community resilience; or, 

(4) to power unelectrified tribal buildings.

Under the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), applications are due May 16, 2023. Tribes interested in this funding opportunity can learn more through an informational webinar on February 28, or reading the announcement here.

Tribal colleges

On February 8, 2023, DOE Office of Indian Energy and Policy also announced its intent to release a $15 million in funding later this spring to install clean energy technology at Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs). Awards are anticipated to range from $100,000 to $250,000 for planning grants or from $1 million to $3 million for deployment grants. Through this planned FOA, the DOE Office of Indian Energy intends to solicit applications from TCUs for clean energy project planning and clean energy technology deployment.

Godfrey & Kahn Assistance

Godfrey & Kahn has assisted tribes and tribal entities with the preparation of renewable energy, energy efficiency, energy-efficient housing and related grant applications that have resulted in total awards of more than $15 million. We have also assisted tribes in packaging federal grants with other grants and tax incentives, including the federal tax credit for renewable energy projects, state and/or utility grants, New Market Tax Credits, or other private funding to drive down the cost of energy-related projects, often resulting in the construction of projects with no upfront capital costs. Now, with the Inflation Reduction Act providing numerous expanded funding opportunities available to tribes and tribal entities, we can work with you to help fully fund numerous clean energy projects.

For more information about these significant grant opportunities and strategies to use them to meet your Tribe’s energy goals, please contact a member of our Indian Nations Practice Group.  

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