The Bishop Paiute Tribe is one of many past grantees of the Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund. (Courtesy Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund/GRID Alternatives)
In its third year, the Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund aims to grow solar energy as well as solar job opportunities in Tribal communities across the United States. This year, 12 Tribes have been selected for new clean energy projects.
“The ability to develop and regulate renewable energy is an expression of sovereignty and self-determination,” said Tanksi Clairmont (Lakota), Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund Director. “Our vision for Indian Country is a transition to energy sovereignty that is educational, entrepreneurial, and completely renewable.”
The Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund has been able to leverage matching money from the U.S. Department of Energy Indian Energy grants program in order to increase the impact of the grants, and will staff and manage the projects through 2021.
“These projects will help improve resiliency and housing affordability in Tribal communities, and provide hands-on training opportunities for Tribal members interested in clean-economy jobs,” said Ramsay Huntley, Sustainable Finance Strategist at Wells Fargo, in the release. ”Wells Fargo is pleased to support the Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund and its mission to advance energy sovereignty in Indian Country.”
Having expanded the project map, this 2020-2021 grant cycle includes two grantees from Alaska. The 2020-2021 Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund grantees are:
- Oglala Sioux Tribal Housing, Pine Ridge, South Dakota
- Village of Solomon, Nome, Alaska
- Tanana Chiefs Conference – Tanacross Village Council, Tanacross, Alaska
- Blackfeet Nation – Heart Butte High School, Browning, Montana
- Bear River Band of the Rohnerville Rancheria, Loleta, California
- Pinoleville Pomo Nation, Ukiah, California
- Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians, Redwood Valley, California
- Sherwood Valley Band of Pomo Indians, Willits, California
- Manzanita Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, Boulevard, California
- Campo Band of Mission Indians, Campo, California
- Cahuilla Band of Indians, Anza, California
- Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians, Thermal, California
Since launching in 2018, the Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund has supported solar projects for 27 Tribes and Tribal organizations in seven states totaling nearly 200 jobs for Tribal members.