New Mexico tribes win $1.37M for renewable energy

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Tribal Energy Program has awarded $1.37 million to four New Mexico-based tribes for clean energy projects.

The grants are part of a $6.5 million award for 19 projects nationwide, which U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced Feb. 16. Since 2002, the DOE program has awarded $36 million for 159 tribal energy projects across the country.

The New Mexico grants include:

$347,090 to the Navajo Hopi Land Commission for a feasibility study on large-scale solar energy development;

$278,987 to Zia Pueblo for a feasibility study on integrated solar, geothermal, wind energy and gas-fired generation;

$301,113 for Jemez Pueblo to complete preconstruction work on a four-megawatt solar facility, plus $146,775 to install a cordwood-fired biomass energy system to heat the Jemez visitor center; and

$300,000 to the Navajo To’Hajilee chapter for preconstruction work on a 30-megawatt solar facility planned by To’Hajiilee Economic Development Inc.

According to the National Congress of American Indians, tribal lands have enough renewable potential to supply 14 percent of the nation’s electricity needs with wind power, and more than four times the nation’s electricity needs with solar.

Read more in the New Mexico Business Weekly.

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