DOE to help tribes advance onsite, renewable energy projects

 DOE to help tribes advance onsite, renewable energy projects

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the third round of Strategic Technical Assistance Response Team (START) Renewable Energy Project Development Assistance, which provides federally recognized tribal governments and other tribal entities with on-the-ground support to accelerate clean energy project deployment.

Through the START Program, the DOE Office of Indian Energy and Energy Department National Laboratory experts provide assistance for tribal clean energy development by supporting community- and commercial-scale renewable energy projects throughout the U.S. Since its launch in December 2011, the START Program has helped 21 tribal communities advance their clean energy technology and infrastructure projects — from solar and wind to biofuels and energy efficiency.

“The program was very flexible, providing expertise in different areas as project needs changed, including the site location,” said James Jensen, project manager for Southern Ute Alternative Energy, LLC, which received START assistance in 2013 to help advance the development of its $3 million, 1-MW solar photovoltaic project.

START will assist tribal project team, and tribal legal and finance specialists with reaching a late-stage development decision point to further a project toward development. Eligible applicants for this opportunity include Indian Tribes, Alaska Native regional corporations, and formally organized tribal energy resource development organizations. Applicants designated as White House Climate Action Champions will also benefit from the assistance of the START Program and be given preferential consideration.

Applications are due to the Energy Department Office of Indian Energy by May 1, 2015. Up to five projects will be selected by late June 2015. Technical assistance will be provided from July 2015 through August 2016.

In addition to this opportunity, the Energy Department launched the third round of the Alaska START Program in December to assist Alaska Native villages and federally recognized Alaska Native governments with accelerating clean energy projects. Selected projects for the Alaska START Program will be announced in April.

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