The Department of the Interior announced a grant of $71 million to help Tribal communities electrify their homes with clean energy sources. This is the second round of funding from the Office of Indian Affairs’ Tribal Electrification Program, part of an overall $150 million grant from the Inflation Reduction Act. Secretary Haaland announced $72 million in awards from the first round of funding earlier this year.

“As the Interior Department implements this new program, we will continue to support Tribes as they work to develop their electricity infrastructure and help meet our shared clean energy goals,” said Secretary Haaland. “Through President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, we’re providing reliable, resilient energy that Tribes can rely on, and advancing our work to tackle the climate crisis and build a clean energy future.”

A key pillar of Bidenomics, the President’s Investing in America agenda is deploying record investments to provide affordable high-speed internet, safer roads and bridges, modern wastewater and sanitations systems, clean drinking water, reliable and affordable electricity, and good paying jobs in every Tribal community.

A press release claims that the tax funded effort is to bring electricity to homes in Tribal communities that have never had electricity. Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Bryan Newland reports that Tribal Nations have their own unique energy and electrification-related needs and implementation capacity.

In 2000, the Energy Information Administration reported estimated that 14 percent of households on Native American reservations had no access to electricity, which was 10 times higher than the national average. In 2022, the Department of Energy Office of Indian Energy reported that 16,805 Tribal homes were unelectrified, with most being in the Southwest region and Alaska.

Through this funding, the program will provide financial and technical assistance to Tribes to connect homes to transmission and distribution that is powered by clean energy; provide electricity to unelectrified Tribal homes through zero-emissions energy systems; transition electrified Tribal homes to zero-emissions energy systems; and support associated home repairs and retrofitting necessary to install the zero-emissions energy systems. The program is also intended to support clean energy workforce development opportunities in Indian Country.

The Tribal Electrification Program also advances the Biden-Harris administration’s Justice40 Initiative, which was established by President Biden as part of his January 2021 Executive Order 14008, Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad. The goal recognizes the importance of electricity to sustaining a higher standard of living and in curbing pollution. It set a goal that 40 percent of the overall benefits of certain federal investments flow to disadvantaged communities that have been marginalized by “underinvestment.”


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