Blog

Renewable energy surpasses coal for the first time.

May 13th, 2019

Breaking news from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) reported for the first time ever that coal produced electricity has been surpassed by renewable energies as of April 2019. The national awareness for the long term benefits of renewable energies has grown substantially in the past five years and the shift from coal will be significantly noticeable by 2020. The renewable energies, that the IEEFA recognizes, include solar, hydroelectricity, biomass, wind, and geothermal. There are two major contributing factors for this huge shift in the energy industry, they can be attributed to an increase in hydroelectricity and the beginning of the slow season for coal. As spring approaches the green energy industry enters one of its higher producing seasons. For example, hydroelectricity begins to produce more in energy due to a plentiful winter with rivers raising from the winter snow melt. Secondly, as winter comes to an end and energy is gradually being used less, the coal factories close for their annually maintenance and repairs. The coal industry in its entirety has been experiencing a decline in usage in more recent years. It appears in 2014 coal was generating 39% of the nation’s energy and as of 2018 has dropped to 27%. Coal is undoubtedly facing an uphill battle as solar and wind are beginning to dominate the energy industry while coal hasn’t encountered new plants in quite some time and the average age of these coal plants are 40 years old. In the past decade, the cost to produce solar and wind has decreased tremendously with expectations for the trend to continue into the future.


The Navajo Nation agrees renewable energy is the future.

May 6th, 2019

Tribal nations around the country are noticing the benefit of renewable energy. In the four corners region, the Navajo Nation recently passed “bill- No. 073-19” which assists the community to becoming less coal dependent and transition it’s efforts into using sustainable, renewable energy sources. The collective consensus agrees coal is not the future for the Dine people and are willing to risk the premature closing of the Navajo Generating Station (NGS) and Kayenta (Coal) Mine if need be. The closing of this prominent coal mine could happen as early as December of 2019. The time for the coal industry on Navajo land is soon to expire and it has been a long dividing issue for the Dine People. At its peak, the coal industry recorded as providing up to 50% of the Navajos economic revenue which developed communal tension by putting locals livelihood at risk when mentioning the closing of the environmentally harmful coal mines. As delegates and employees of coal mines mutually realize the era of the coal mining industry is coming to a close, it’s now time for the Navajo community to set its sights for the future. One suggestion encourages the transition from coal to solar could exist in setting up an investment fund between the Navajo Nation and the Hopi Tribe. Setting aside roughly $20 million dollars for specifically Native operated companies that would find a new purpose for the NGS and Kayenta Mine which includes a stretch of railroads, road ways, and an airstrip. Once the mining lands are restored it can be used to serve anything from installing a large, photovoltaic power stations, that will energize parts of the community, to supporting any indigenous based business that would involve itself with reclaiming the land for solar, tourism, manufacturing, and anything retail trade related. This has the potential to be a pivotal step in community alliance and growth through compromise when an intensely, debated issue does not have to cost the livelihood of the environment and half its community members.


From all of us on the TSAF team, we look forward to engaging and working with you, Indian Country’s energy innovators and leaders, as we continue to grow the opportunities for renewable energy in tribal communities.


Happy TSAF Application Week!

Dear TSAF applicants,

April 30, 2019

Thank you for your time, energy (pun intended :-)), and ideas that you have worked on so diligently in your TSAF application! We know Indian Country have always been innovative, resilient, and prosperous when it comes to cultural preservation and self-determination, and your proposed solar project will continue to strengthen and preserve your tribal communities land, water, and life.

Since the release of the RFP and applications, we have received a handful of great questions which were answered on the FAQ page, so please refer to the TSAF FAQ’s for further insight on topics such as; letters of support/tribal resolutions, allowable expenses, definition of “shovel ready projects,” and more under each TSAF funding priority area!

We look forward to receiving your application on Friday May 3rd by 5:00 p.m. MST! Submission guidelines are in the RFP and application, but as a reminder, please limit your proposal narrative section to 10 pages, and please use the Word document form instead of the PDF form (text wrapping issues in the PDF) for the organization information section, also please combine all sections and attachments into ONE PDF document and name your application as follows: “2019 TSAF <matching funds or tribal solar funding Application – <tribe>”.

Have a wonderful week!

Tanksi Clairmont


Watch the TSAF webinar recording

March 20, 2019

The TSAF hosted a webinar on Friday March 15 to provide prospective applicants with a deeper understanding of GRID Alternatives’ work in tribal communities, how the TSAF came to fruition, and how it will support tribal communities toward their energy sovereignty goals. We also discussed details about the application process, including the mission and vision of the Fund, required documents, and FAQs.

We are pleased with the webinar attendance and hope that it provided a good amount of background information to help your tribe/tribal organization decide if TSAF is the right pot of funding for your solar projects. The TSAF webinar was recorded and is now posted to the tribalsolar.org website, so please listen in at your convenience.

Thank you for your continued interest in the TSAF. Our team is always open to questions and feedback, so do not hesitate to contact us at contact@tribalsolar.org.


Welcome!

March 4, 2019

Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund Director, Tanksi Clairmont (left), and Founder, Adam Bad Wound (right).

Greetings, friends! Welcome to the Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund.

We are a small, tribal-led staff committed to serving, supporting, and strengthening American Indian/Alaska Native tribal communities by investing in solar energy development and sustainability through grantmaking, building relationships in Indian Country, and connecting with the solar industry.

It is an exciting time for our team, organization, and partners as we launch the 2019 TSAF funding application cycle. The TSAF will provide capital to support solar demonstration projects, solar education, training, and workforce development in tribal communities around the country. If your tribe or tribal organization is looking to strengthen an existing solar energy plan or further tribal energy security, resilience and energy sovereignty through new solar projects, please check out the TSAF RFP and funding areas. You’re also invited to join us for a webinar on March 15 to learn more about our vision, funding areas, and application process.