Learn About the Rural Partner Network and More Opportunities and Events for Tribes

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Apr. 26, 2022

Recent News, Upcoming Events, and Funding Opportunities for Indian Country


Biden Administration Launches Rural Partner Network

On-the-Ground Staff Partner with Local and Tribal Leaders, Create a Direct Line to DC

On April 20, the Biden-Harris Administration launched the Rural Partners Network (RPN), a new, whole-of-government effort led by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to transform the way federal agencies partner with rural places to create economic opportunity.

To support this effort, 13 key agencies, including the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), are dedicating a D.C. based point person or team to serve as a front door for RPN staff and the communities they serve as they navigate the resources available across the federal government. These agencies will participate in regular convenings of the Rural Prosperity Interagency Policy Council, co-led by the White House Domestic Policy Council and USDA. 

By the end of May, the first cohort of RPN field staff will deploy to more than 25 rural communities in multiple U.S. states, tribal nations, and territories to help rural communities identify and leverage the critical federal resources they need to build strong and vibrant economies. On-the-ground RPN staff will work with local leaders to establish an economic development vision and secure the funds to make it a reality.

The first cohort includes three tribal nations: San Carlos Apache Tribe, Tohono O’odham Nation, and Cocopah Indian Tribe. By the end of August, the RPN will move to broaden its impact, deploying a second cohort of federal field staff to Nevada, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and tribal communities in Alaska.

Learn more in a White House fact sheet.

Submit Your Feedback and Help Make a New Tribal Energy Guidebook Even Better

The authors of a new draft guidebook are seeking your input and feedback. Developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the Midwest Tribal Energy Resources Association (MTERA), the Addressing Regulatory Challenges to Tribal Solar Deployment guidebook is now available on MTERA’s website.

Comments, feedback, suggestions, and successes related to this resource—a work in progress developed in collaboration with and for the benefit of tribal nations—are welcome and can be submitted directly to Laura Beshilas at laura.beshilas@nrel.gov.


April 27: Webinar: Renewables Advancing Community Energy Resilience Funding Opportunity Announcement

Join the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Solar Energy Technologies Office for an informational webinar about the Renewables Advancing Community Energy Resilience (RACER) funding opportunity.

RACER will award $25 million in funding for projects to enable communities to utilize solar and solar-plus-storage to prevent disruptions in power caused by extreme weather and other events and to rapidly restore electricity if it goes down.

Register now.

May 3: Webinar: Electrify Everything!?

As part of the Alaska Sustainable Energy Conference, this virtual workshop will build on the foundation established at the recent Electrify Alaska! Conference in Cordova. Ongoing efforts across the state are exploring cold climate heat pumps, dispatchable thermal loads, and electric vehicles of many types (even airplanes!).

This is the last in a series of four free virtual workshops leading up to the Alaska Sustainable Energy Conference.

Register now.

May 4: Webinar: Understanding Your Electric Grid and Why You Need To

Where does your electricity come from and how does the electricity grid operate to provide you with electricity? It is important to be able to answer these types of questions before you make energy policy, project, or investment decisions.

This second webinar in the DOE Office of Indian Energy 2022 Tribal Energy Series will provide a general understanding of how the electric grid operates and an overview of common policies that impact tribes and their energy decisions.

Register now.

May 16–18: 2022 Southwestern Tribal Climate Change Summit

In partnership with the La Jolla Band of Luiseño Indians, the Pala Band of Mission Indians, and the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals, the Climate Science Alliance is excited to co-host the 2022 Southwestern Tribal Climate Change Summit (SWTCCS).

With this year’s theme, “Exploring the Fire Within Us,” the 2022 SWTCCS will build upon key takeaways from the 2019 SWTCCS held in Idyllwild, California. The conference will again bring together tribal leaders, professionals, and community members from across the Southwest to explore the kinship with fire and its role in community, conservation, and climate change adaptation through hands-on activities, networking, and professional training opportunities.

Register now.

May 23: ArcticX Summit: Committing to a Sustainable Arctic

Head north to the future of energy for the ArcticX Summit in Anchorage, Alaska. Hosted by the DOE Arctic Energy Office and Office of Technology Transitions, the summit is a full-day, in-person InnovationXLab intended to solidify partnerships forged through the ArcticX series of webinars and drive deployment of energy technologies for a more sustainable Arctic region.

Attendees from DOE, Alaska Native communities, national laboratories, and Arctic businesses will gather to leverage the strength and knowledge of local entrepreneurs to advance energy affordability, reliability, and innovation.

Panels will further existing energy projects, discuss new development ideas, promote funding opportunities, and highlight cutting-edge clean energy technologies. Networking events will foster connections that fuel technology and commercialization solutions for the people and communities of the Arctic.

Register now.

Technical Assistance and Funding Opportunities

Northern Arizona University Native American Water & Land 2022 Student Summer Internship—Apply by April 29

Attention, college students interested in spending the summer working on tribal water and land issues: Approximately 10 Internships are available with tribal organizations, state and federal agencies, and water or land management NGOs. The internships have research, technical, educational, or policy focus. Interested students can apply for all the sites with one application.

The internship program provides each student intern with a $4,800 stipend for 8 weeks or a $6,000 stipend for 10 weeks. Travel and housing stipends are available for interns who must relocate for the internship. Some internships may be virtual, with the intern telecommuting from their home location.

Learn more and apply.

Denali Commission Funding Opportunity Announcement DC-WP-22-001—Apply by May 13

The Denali Commission solicits proposed projects throughout rural Alaska from eligible applicants seeking funding for the following program areas:

  • Energy – general and wood heating system
  • Transportation
  • Facilities for healthcare and community wellness
  • Village infrastructure protection
  • Sanitation
  • Housing
  • Broadband
  • Economic development
  • Workforce development
  • Infrastructure Fund (new).

The Denali Commission intends to make multiple awards because of this funding opportunity announcement, subject to the availability of funds, the quality of applications received, and other relevant considerations.

Learn more and apply.

Bipartisan Infrastructure Law RFI on Resilient and Efficient Codes Implementations—Apply by May 20

The DOE Building Technologies Office has issued a request for information (RFI) from the public that will inform the program development and execution of Section 40511 of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. This provision makes $225 million available to states, local governments, and partnerships through grants to help them drive the cost-effective implementation of building energy codes for improved efficiency and resilience.

The intent of this RFI is to obtain public input regarding the solicitation process and structure of a potential DOE funding opportunity announcement to fund sustained cost-effective implementation of building energy codes in accordance with the IIJA. This RFI seeks input on:

  • Energy code implementation criteria and requirements for key topic areas
  • Advanced energy codes and building resilience
  • Methods to support sustained state energy and building resilience code implementation
  • Funding, partnerships, eligible entities, and evaluation criteria
  • Energy and environmental justice priorities.

The information collected will not be published.

Learn more and apply.

Renewables Advancing Community Energy Resilience—Apply by July 25

Through this funding opportunity, the DOE EERE Solar Energy Technologies Office will invest in locally appropriate energy resilience planning at the community level, including the development and integration of new and existing metrics and preparedness and response plans, via robust multistakeholder participation and collaboration. Where appropriate, opportunities will be identified for solar plus storage deployment in those locations that can best support increased resilience.

Renewables Advancing Community Energy Resilience will award $25 million in funding for projects to enable communities to utilize solar and solar-plus-storage to prevent disruptions in power caused by extreme weather and other events, and to rapidly restore electricity if it goes down. Concept papers must be submitted by May 23, 2022.

Learn more and apply.

Be sure to check the Office of Indian Energy website regularly to keep abreast of the many other upcoming events and funding opportunities of relevance to tribal communities.

Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs
1000 Independence Ave. SW | Washington DC 20585

For more information on the Office of Indian Energy, visit our website.

This email was sent to doe@enjoule.com on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy · 1000 Independence Ave., SW · Washington DC 20585

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