The Tribal Energy Program of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy promotes tribal energy sufficiency, economic development, and employment through the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. The program fosters government-to-government partnerships that:
- Empower tribal leaders to make informed decisions about energy choices;
- bring renewable energy and energy efficiency options to Indian Country;
- enhance human capacity through education and training;
- improve local tribal economies and the environment; and
- make a difference in the quality of life of Native Americans.
The program accomplishes these objectives by providing technical and financial assistance to tribes for the evaluation and development of renewable energy resources on tribal lands. DOE further assists the efforts of its tribal partners through education and training opportunities.
Along with other DOE national labs, Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) provides critical support to the Tribal Energy Program. SNL’s primary role is to provide technical assistance to DOE headquarters and field offices in support of tribal energy initiatives, and to conduct renewable energy resource and technology options assessments.
Sandia also manages the Tribal Energy Program’s student internships. These summer internships allow Native American college upperclassmen and graduate students to help support Tribal Energy Program efforts through participation in technical projects. Interns join a cross-disciplinary team at SNL and interact with renewable energy staff, Native American Tribes, and the Lab’s American Indian Outreach Committee to execute the program’s activities.
In conjunction with DOE, Sandia has executed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Navajo Nation. Through this MOU, Sandia provides technical assistance to the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority to help promote the development and implementation of renewable energy in Navajo communities in New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah.
For more information about Sandia’s Tribal Energy Program work, contact Sandra Begay-Campbell, skbegay at sandia.gov, (505) 844-5418.