US Department of Energy: Meet Our Team, Bad River Band’s Microgrid, and Upcoming Events

Tribal Energy News and Events


Meet Our Team: Dr. Tommy Jones, Deployment Specialist

Tommy JonesThe team of federal employees supporting the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Indian Energy is small but mighty. In the “Meet Our Team” blog post series, we introduce key staff dedicated to the Office and its mission to support tribes in pursuing their energy visions.

Dr. Tommy Jones has made the journey from DOE intern to Office of Indian Energy Deployment Specialist, where he applies his passion for research to benefit Indian Country.

Read more about him and what motivates his work on our blog.

A Symbol of Resilience: Bad River Band of Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians Complete Solar Microgrid Project

Bad River solar panel constructionMembers of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians are experiencing a renewed sense of resilience—in more ways than one.

In July 2016, severe flooding overtook the Bad River Reservation. Following the floods, the community took steps to build back stronger, and has since increased its energy resilience through planning, developing, and installing a solar energy and battery storage system.

Supported by grant funding from the Office of Indian Energy, the roughly $2-million-dollar project is a 500-kilowatt solar microgrid installation with more than 1,000 kilowatt-hours of battery storage.

Read more about the Ishkonige Nawadide Solar Microgrid Project.

Upcoming Events

Webinar on Energy’s Role in Resilience Planning: May 26

The Office of Indian Energy is hosting a free webinar on Energy’s Role in Resilience Planning on May 26, at 1 p.m. ET, as part of the 2021 Tribal Energy for Resilience, Economic Development, and Environmental Stewardship series.

A reliable supply of electricity (and other heating and transportation fuels) is essential for community safety and prosperity. Weather-related blackouts and brownouts in Texas and California over the last year have demonstrated the importance of building greater resilience into our electricity systems. This webinar will discuss potential weaknesses in our electric grid and distribution lines, and ways tribes can address those weaknesses through energy projects that help strengthen or support the grid.

Register now.

Annual Native American Economic Development Conference: June 14–15

The Native American Economic Development Conference hosts a variety of tracks, panels, and interactive roundtable discussions. Attendees will engage with top experts focusing on economic diversification. Discovering new ways to diversify your tribe’s economic ventures helps to reduce risk and ensure the growth of your community.

Learn more and register.

2021 NCAI Mid Year Conference: June 20–24

The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) is hosting a virtual Mid Year Conference for attendees to come together to address issues critical to Indian Country. This year, the conference will occur virtually for the first time and will provide tribal leaders and partners a unique opportunity to discuss and work on the issues facing tribal nations directly from their respective homelands.

Early bird registration deadline is May 30, 2021. Learn more and register.

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