Welcome to the Ute Mountain Ute Reservation. Photo: Ken Lund

Tribes plan renewable energy projects with help of $7.8M in federal funds

Tribes across the nation are investing in renewable energy projects in their communities with the help of $7.8 million in federal funds.

The Ute Mountain Ute Tribe secured $973,000 from the Department of Energy as part of the initiative. The tribe will chip in $1 million of its own funds for a 1 megawatt solar array that will power homes and tribal buildings on the reservation in Colorado.

“It’s great news. Some of this field is going to stop growing hay and start growing electricity for the community,” Scott Clow, the tribe's environmental director, told The Cortez Journal.

The tribes that received federal funds are required to contribute matching amounts, according to a solicitation that went out last November. Applications were due February 7 and the Office of Indian Energy at the Department of Energy announced the grants on June 22.

“These energy development and efficiency projects will provide economic benefits to American Indian tribes and Alaskan Native villages for many years to come," William Bradford., the director of the office, said in a press release.

Bradford was hired by the Trump administration to run the office. He claims to be a citizen of the Chiricahua Apache Nation, whose federal status was terminated in the late 1800s, according to a federal court ruling.

Read More on the Story:
Ute Mountain Utes to build $2 million solar farm (The Cortez Journal 6/29)

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