$3.65 million awarded for solar as part of Taholah Village Energy Park

U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer (WA-06) announced that the Quinault Indian Nation will receive $3.65 million in new federal funding through the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Tribal Electrification Program.

According to Kilmer, the grant will fund the installation of solar power generation and electricity infrastructure upgrades and retrofits in Taholah.

This project is for both planning and implementation of the Solar component of Taholah Village Energy Park. The 2 MW array will power up to about 180 homes . This project will retrofit or install power resources to approximately 120 existing homes in the Lower Village. It will also power about 59 homes in the Taholah relocation area. “, according to BIA.

The solar power installation will be part of the Taholah Village Energy Park for on-site generation that will build reliability and energy independence for Taholah which is remote and experiences frequent power outages.

“For far too long, Native American tribes in our region and across the country have struggled to have affordable, reliable power,” said Rep. Kilmer. “This announcement of new federal investment in Indian country is huge. It will help the Quinault Indian Nation build clean energy resources and move toward their vision of energy independence.”

“Thanks to the Biden-Harris Administration and Congressman Kilmer we can start implementing our vision to power our reservation with clean energy as part of the fight against climate change, while also building energy independence and making electricity service to our community more reliable,” said Quinault Indian Nation President Guy Capoeman.

 “Every home deserves to have access to reliable, affordable electricity – and now, with historic investments from President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, we’re bringing much-needed resources to Indian Country to electrify homes with abundant clean energy sources,” said Interior Secretary Deb Haaland. “As we implement this new and innovative program, we will continue to support Tribal communities as they work to develop their electricity infrastructure and help meet our shared clean energy goals.”

 “Indian Country’s revitalization and future depends on Tribal households, schools, and businesses having access to clean, reliable power,” said Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Bryan Newland. “The Tribal Electrification Program is important for providing Tribes a much-needed boost to their efforts of closing the access-to-electricity gap in their communities.”

Funded by the Inflation Reduction Act, the Tribal Electrification Program will utilize $145.5 million to increase the number of Tribal homes with zero-emission electricity.

The program also supports clean energy workforce development opportunities in Tribal communities.

The Tribal Electrification Program advances the Biden-Harris administration’s Justice40 Initiative, which set the goal that 40 percent of the overall benefits of certain federal investments flow to disadvantaged communities that have been marginalized by underinvestment and overburdened by pollution, including federally recognized Tribal Nations, which are recognized as Justice40 communities.

In this first round of funding, the BIA awarded a total of $72 million in federal funding to 21 Tribes.

A second round of funding availability is expected to be announced in the spring of 2024.

For more information, visit the BIA’s interactive map on projects in Tribal communities funded through the bureau under the Investing in America agenda.