Distributed generation refers to technologies that generate electricity at or near where it will be used, such as combined heat and power generators. Distributed electricity generators can be fueled by a variety of energy sources such as diesel, biodiesel, gasoline, natural gas (methane), propane, and hydrogen, in addition to other forms of renewable energy.

Natural gas is in abundant supply making it one of the lowest cost fuels for electricity generation and heating. It is also one of the cleanest burning fossil fuels having a lower impact on the environment. Natural gas can be naturally occurring from oil wells, shale formations, or coal beds, or it can be produced by converting biomass through gasification and pyrolysis. Natural gas can also be produced from methane-producing microbes.

Types of Distributed Generators

  • The Natural Gas Alternative

    Propane and heating oil systems may be replaced with the natural gas lower cost alternative. Natural gas production wells and pipelines can provide fuel for generators and heating. Diesel generators can be replaced with natural gas fueled units that produce much less carbon and operate more economically.

  • Combined Heat and Power Efficiency

    Efficient combined heat and power systems fueled by natural gas and/or hydrogen can provide lower cost electricity and heat to buildings and communities. Natural gas as fuel produces lower emissions and the waste-heat from combustion can be used to heat buildings and processes.

What You Need

For natural gas or other distributed generation projects to be viable for Tribes, the following general characteristics and circumstances must be present:

  • A source of low-cost fuel must be present by means of production wells, biomass, interstate or intrastate pipelines, or local natural gas distribution system.
  • A distribution network and market for the electricity produced from the generators.
  • Favorable regulatory framework for interconnection to the grid and net metering
  • Expertise to operate generation and distribution systems.
  • A business entity to handle billing, accounting, and operations.
  • Above average energy costs, unreliable power, and a desire for energy independence.

Services for Distributed Generation

The Division of Energy and Mineral Development provides project assistance to Tribes and individuals to develop distributed generation on their trust land. Learn more about how we can help below.

Additional Information

Additional Resources

Contact Us

Branch of Renewable and Distributed Generation
Office of Trust Services, Division of Energy and Mineral Development, 13922 Denver West Parkway, Ste. 200
Lakewood, CO 80401-3142
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. MDT, Monday-Friday