Washington, DC – [RE-Access.com] Tribal lands owned by Federally recognized Native American tribes are rarely connected to regional power grids, and renewable energy options offer a solution without the high cost of running in new electric lines. Grant funds through the Tribal Energy Program are expected to reach US$3.5 million in 2005 with Congressional approval of the budget for the Department of Energy. A total of 17 projects for research and development could be funded through these grants.The Tribal Energy Program offers assistance for renewable energy feasibility studies and shares the cost of renewable energy projects on tribal lands. The program also offers assistance to tribes for the initial steps toward developing renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, including strategic planning, energy options analysis, human capacity building, and organizational development planning. Two types of grants are available for 2005. One will help fund strategic planning, energy options analysis or resource planning, energy organization development, and human capacity building related to sustainable energy efficiency implementation or renewable energy development. Applications for this grant are due by January 20, 2005, and the program office expects $1 million in funding. Tribes do not have to generate matching funds for this grant. The second grant will support either feasibility studies for the development of economically sustainable renewable energy installations or sustainable renewable energy development projects. Applications for this grant are due by February 4, 2005, and the program office expects $2.5 million in funding. Tribes applying for this grant must be prepared to generate matching funds. Projects that meet the application requirement are: solar photovoltaic, concentrated solar power, solar thermal systems, wind, biomass power, hydroelectric, geothermal electric generation, geothermal resources for direct heating or cooling applications, and other renewable or renewable hybrid systems. Applications from Federally-recognized Tribes, Alaska Native villages and Alaskan Native Corporations will be considered for funding. To find out more about the grants and what is needed for the applications, call grant specialist Pat Liles at 303-275-4754, or visit the link below.