The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced that three states and nine tribal nations will receive a total of $48.4 million under the Grid Resiliency Formula State and Tribal Grants. The bipartisan infrastructure grants will help modernize the power grid and improve the reliability of the energy sector while reducing the impact of extreme weather events and natural disasters.
The funding will enable communities to have access to affordable, reliable, and clean power, in line with President Joe Biden’s clean energy goals. The states of Alaska, Utah, and Virginia, as well as several tribal nations will benefit from these grants.
For example, the Blackfeet tribe on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation will use the funds to help reduce power outages on the reservation and address the energy burden of low-income tribe members. They will also focus on trust land projects and upgrading deteriorating infrastructure.
The Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Chalkyitsik Village, Fort Sill Apache Tribe, Galena Village, Match-e-be-nash-she-wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians, Port Graham Native Village, Seneca Nation, and Summit Lake Paiute Tribe are also funded to improve grid reliability, manage energy stress, upgrade tribal workforces, and modernize energy infrastructure.
In addition to the grants, the FCC’s Office of Native Affairs and Policy is seeking feedback on ways to improve access to radio spectrum for tribal nations and the Native Hawaiian community. Currently, cellular license forms do not capture enough information about Native Hawaiian or tribal applicants, preventing a full understanding of their spectrum access.
The notice issued by the FCC solicits public comment on possible amendments to license forms to better identify Tribal or Native Hawaiian applicants. It also asks about the correct categories, the mandatory or optional collection of additional information, and whether tribal NGOs should be included in the forms.
These initiatives reflect efforts to improve tribal communities’ access to essential services and advance clean energy goals while addressing the challenges posed by climate change and aging infrastructure.