In this Memorandum we report on several developments from the Department of Energy’s Office of Indian Energy (OIE). The OIE is now accepting applications for the second round of the Strategic Technical Assistance Response Team (START) initiative. The START initiative is designed to advance clean energy project deployment by providing tribes, Alaska Native Regional Corporations and Alaska Native Villages with customized technical assistance. Applications for the Tribal START program and the Alaska START program are due March 15, 2013. On February 27, 2013, the OIE will host a webinar entitled “Renewable Energy Potential on Tribal Lands.”
The OIE will also be requesting comments on a new initiative: the START Utilities Program (START-UP) which is being developed to assist tribes interested in launching or expanding utility services for their communities.
START Program for Renewable Energy Project Development Assistance
START Round Two will work directly with the tribal project team and tribal legal/finance specialists who are or will soon be addressing late-stage project development decisions, negotiations, and agreements. START Round Two technical assistance supports the implementation of community-scale and commercial-scale renewable energy projects by providing tribal project teams assistance with:
• Verifying economic and technical viability of a project’s power and revenue generation
• Establishing terms and strategies for negotiating land-lease, energy off-take, and/or power purchase agreements
• Selecting project ownership options, partnership arrangements, and financing structures
• Developing request for proposals (RFP) with appropriate technical guidelines and selection criteria.
OIE plans to select three to five projects from the applicant pool to receive START technical assistance. Eligible applicants include: Indian tribes, Alaska Native Regional Corporations, and formally organized tribal energy resource development organizations. The application may be filled out and submitted from the following link: http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/STARTApplication_REProjectDevelopmentAssistance_RoundTwo_Form.pdf
Alaska START Program for Native Community Energy Planning and Projects
Alaska START Round Two, in partnership with the Denali Commission will support the activities of Alaska Native Villages which are focused on community-based energy planning, energy awareness and training programs, and identification and implementation of renewable energy and energy efficiency opportunities. In addition to comprehensive technical assistance, each selected Alaska Native Village may be eligible for up to $250,000 to implement a renewable energy or energy efficiency project.
OIE plans to select up to five projects from the applicant pool to receive Alaska START technical and financial assistance. Eligible applicants are Alaska Native Villages. The application may be filled out and submitted from the following link:
Renewable Energy Potential on Tribal Lands Webinar
The OIE and the Western Area Power Administration are sponsoring a Tribal Renewable Energy Webinar Series. The series is intended for tribal leaders and staff who are interested in developing commercial-scale energy projects, responding to utilities’ requests for proposals, and learning more about the competitive power market.
The “Renewable Energy Potential on Tribal Lands” webinar will be held on February 27, 2013, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. MST. There is no charge to participate in the webinar, but registration is required. For more information and to register for the webinar, visit: http://teeic.anl.gov/news/
START Utilities Program
The OIE is working to bring utility development technical tools to Indian Country through a new START Utility Program (START-UP) aimed at tribes interested in developing, acquiring, or expanding utility services in their own communities. To ensure START-UP meets the priority needs of Indian Country, the OIE will soon be issuing a Request for Information.
Please let us know if we may provide additional information regarding the Office of Indian Energy’s Strategic Technical Assistance Response Team initiative or the “Renewable Energy Potential on Tribal Lands” webinar.