The Energy Department on January 30 announced the second round of the Strategic Technical Assistance Response Team (START) Program, which provides federally recognized Tribal governments with technical assistance to accelerate clean energy project deployment. Additionally, the Energy Department plans to seek information from tribes interested in launching or expanding utility services in their own communities, which will help establish a new START Utility Program (START-UP). Additional details on this effort will be available on the Office of Indian Energy website in the coming weeks.
Over the past year, the START program has helped nine Tribal communities advance their clean energy technology and infrastructure projects, from solar and wind to biofuels and energy efficiency. The second round of technical assistance awards will build upon the initial successes of the START program and further help Native American and Alaska Native communities increase local generation capacity, enhance energy-efficiency measures, and create local entrepreneurial and job opportunities. In the contiguous United States, Energy Department and national laboratory experts will provide technical assistance on tribes' clean energy project development. In Alaska, the Energy Department and the Denali Commission will help rural Alaska Native communities conduct energy awareness and training programs and pursue new renewable energy and energy efficiency opportunities. Applications are due by March 15, 2013. See the Energy Department press release and the Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs webpage .