DOE loan office to back first project under tribal program

By Kelsey Tamborrino | 03/14/2024 07:08 AM EDT

The partial loan guarantee of up to $72.8 million would help finance the development of a solar power and long-duration-storage microgrid.

The Energy Department’s Loan Programs Office announced Wednesday it plans to issue its first-ever award under its tribal energy financing program to help develop a solar power and energy storage microgrid on tribal lands.

The tribal energy financing program’s loan authority increased from $2 billion to $20 billion under the Democrats’ climate law and is meant to support tribal investment in energy projects through loan guarantees to federally recognized tribes.

The partial loan guarantee is worth up to $72.8 million and is the first conditional commitment through the LPO tribal energy financing program. It will help finance the development of the microgrid that will include a 15-megawatt photovoltaic solar generation system and a 38-megawatt-hour battery energy storage system on the lands of the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians near Alpine, California.


The Viejas Band will purchase electricity through a subsidiary in a long-term power purchase agreement, DOE said.