WASHINGTON — Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Tara Mac Lean Sweeney announced July 30 that the Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development (IEED) has awarded $5,382,606 in energy and mineral development grants to 24 federally recognized tribes in 11 states across the U.S.
The grants will fund tribal efforts to identify, study, design, and/or develop projects using energy, mineral or natural resources on the tribes’ lands to achieve their economic development goals.
The grants were made through IEED’s Energy and Mineral Development Program.
The program is administered by the Division of Energy and Mineral Development (DEMD), which assists tribal governments and American Indian allottees with evaluating energy and mineral resource potential on their lands.
Recipients use this information to determine whether or not they wish to develop energy projects, or extract and market commercially, or strategically, valuable minerals.
The 2019 EMDP grant awardees by tribe name, state, award amount and purpose are:
• Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes, Montana ($1,158,000) – To identify high-confidence, low-risk oil and gas prospects on the Fort Peck Reservation that can be profitably developed.
• Chemehuevi Indian Tribe, California ($295,868) – To analyze and follow up on findings from the tribe’s mineral assessment project to determine potential mineral deposits on the Chemehuevi Reservation.
• Chippewa Cree Tribe, Montana ($121,635) – To qualify, quantify and determine suitability for customer use aggregate sand and gravel deposits on the Rocky Boy’s Reservation.
• Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation, Oregon ($294,000) – To prepare for geothermal drilling operations on land parcels selected to host temperature gradient holes.
• Coushatta Tribe, Louisiana ($141,226) – To study existing energy resources and associated projects available to them, specifically natural gas technologies and processes such as Combined Heat and Power (CHP) distributed generation.
• Fond du Lac Band, Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Minnesota ($98,000) – To design, evaluate and develop specifications for a micro-grid on the Band’s reservation to produce a more reliable power supply, reduce brownouts and blackouts, and lower energy use costs.
• Hoopa Valley Tribe, California ($152,575) – To complete an investment grade feasibility analysis for a CHP biomass/biogas 15 megawatt power plant to be located on its reservation.
• Kashia Band of Pomo Indians, California ($50,500) – To assess 1) the potential of biomass energy resources available in a tribally owned forest, 2) go-to-market opportunities for this resource, and 3) the potential for using these resources in a biomass/biogas power plant to serve tribal members and facilities on the tribe’s Stewarts Point Rancheria.
• Kewa Pueblo [formerly known as Pueblo of Santo Domingo], New Mexico ($219,608) – To study and determine the feasibility and profitability of the sale of tribally owned sand, gravel and concrete resources to markets within the greater Albuquerque-Santa Fe region.
• Mescalero Apache Tribe, New Mexico ($295,557) – To delineate, map, sample and test multiple aggregate resource sites on the Mescalero Apache Reservation.
• Northern Cheyenne Tribe, Montana ($198,135) – For two projects: 1) to evaluate the potential for a network of residential and community rooftop and commercial site photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal installations, and 2) to conduct a feasibility analysis on developing wind power generation on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation.
• Oglala Sioux Tribe, South Dakota ($145,750) – To identify and assess as suitable sand and gravel mining sites on the Pine Ridge Reservation that can serve job sites within the three-county region where the Tribe is located.
• Pueblo of Laguna, New Mexico ($100,000) – To complete an assessment/preliminary engineering report determining the current capability for solar PV power at several locations on its reservation that can also be used by the tribe to seek funds to deploy such technology.
• Pueblo of Nambe, New Mexico ($81,625) – To explore a solar energy project to serve local distribution utility solar power needs while, potentially, reducing the tribe’s dependence on grid connectivity with its associated high costs and reliance on fossil fuels.
• Pueblo of Zia, New Mexico ($370,952) – To expand on work done in earlier studies funded by the EMDP that will identify, test and analyze clay deposits on the tribe’s reservation to determine their suitability for the production of Compressed Earth Blocks (CEBs).
• Sac & Fox Nation, Oklahoma ($89,000) – To explore a micro-grid solution that would alleviate power outages, reduce electricity costs, and serve multiple tribal facilities.
• Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation, South Dakota ($65,940) – To determine, through a marketing and feasibility study, the potential for the profitable sale of tribally owned sand, gravel and concrete ready-mix resources.
• Southern Ute Indian Tribe, Colorado ($140,000) – To identify options for using solar resources in renewable energy project initiatives and to determine the financial feasibility and viability of projects utilizing such technology.
• The Osage Nation, Oklahoma ($193,620) – To estimate recoverable oil with enhanced oil recovery.
• Tunica-Biloxi Indian Tribe, Louisiana ($306,460) – To study the Tribe’s oil and gas resources to determine their use and development on the Tunica-Biloxi Reservation.
• Wichita and Affiliated Tribes, Oklahoma ($69,000) – To develop a comprehensive solar development plan.
• White Mountain Apache Tribe, Arizona ($45,155) – To identify and develop sand and gravel sources on the Fort Apache Reservation to meet the Tribe’s future needs.
• Wind River Reservation (Arapaho Tribe and Eastern Shoshone Tribe), Wyoming ($750,000) – To: 1) conduct a technical evaluation of challenges, opportunities and upside potentials in mature oil fields on tribal lands in the Wind River Basin, 2) to improve and/or enhance oil recovery, and 3) conduct an economic evaluation of oil fields having the highest priority to the tribes.