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Jewell announces $700K in tribal energy grants

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 7, 2014 at 6:50 pm •  Published: May 7, 2014

PHOENIX (AP) — Federal officials announced Wednesday that nine tribes will share in more than $700,000 in grant funding meant to spur renewable energy development in Indian Country and that a second large solar project on tribal land in Nevada had been approved.

The grants announced by U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell will be awarded to federally recognized tribes and will pay for efforts to build their capacity for energy and mineral resource development.

Jewell made the announcement alongside federal and tribal officials at the Heard Museum in Phoenix.

The funding would also enable tribes to develop their own regulations in working with power purchase agreements with utilities.

"The objective of this administration is to make sure that we support a clean energy future. Part of that is working closely with Indian tribes where tremendous amount of energy potential exists, which drives economic opportunity for tribes," Jewell said.

Earlier in the day the secretary visited the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation in southeastern Arizona. That tribe will receive nearly $150,000 to train workers in solar photovoltaic system maintenance and to develop an energy operations plan, Jewell said.

Another Arizona tribe, the Hualapai, was awarded more than $100,000 to develop a training program for its diesel generating plant at Grand Canyon West.

Tribes in Alaska, New York, California, New Mexico and Washington state also will receive grants. The nine were chosen from 31 applications.

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