What is the intent of the IRA S 80003 electrification program?

Indian Affairs will utilize $145.5 million to increase the number of Tribal homes with zero emission electricity not including $4.5 million for administrative costs to retain a professional services contract to provide technical assistance to tribes in the areas of pre-award guidance, award management, project technical assistance, procurement, and utility system impacts.

What does technical assistance look like?

Technical assistance will be provided to tribes in the areas of pre-award guidance, award management, project technical assistance, procurement, and utility system impacts.

Who is eligible to receive electrification funds?

Eligible applicants are Indian Tribes and Tribal Organizations, as defined in Section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (ISDEAA) (25 U.S.C. 5304), including Tribal Consortia and Alaska Native Corporations.

Are ANC’s eligible to apply?

Tribal consortia and Alaska Native Corporations applying for funding must coordinate the requests with federally recognized tribes within their service areas to ensure there is no duplication of services provided. Leveraging of resources among tribal entities will strengthen proposals for consideration.

How will the electrification funds be administered?

Congress has structured the electrification funds to be administered by Indian Affairs. We will be allocating funds through the PL 93-638 or self-governance process.

What is the timeline to distribute funds?

We will be completing two rounds of funding with full obligation of funds to be completed by end of calendar year 2024.

How will proposals be awarded?

Awards will be allocated via the PL 93-638 or via Self Governance compact.

Will tribes need to have an active PL 93-638 contract in place to receive an approved project?

No, our self-determination team is prepared to work alongside the electrification program team to create the contract specific to the approved project or create a self-governance compact.

How will the pilot projects be selected?

We have developed the framework for pilot project selection criteria to include: community-readiness, availability of existing plans or designs, and potential to yield lessons-learned for other Tribes facing similar issues.

How will electrification projects be selected?

We will follow guidance from the IRA sec. 80003 Tribal Electrification Program Fiscal Year 2023 Proposal Guidance which is currently in draft and being prepared to submit to EOP and Solicitor.

How will the amount of the approved proposals be determined?

No less than 15% of the total amount of the available funding will be delegated to each of the project criteria.

What are the determined criteria for the electrification projects?

  • Need – Low Levels of households with electrification
  • Community readiness – is the tribe ready to implement?
  • Community Risk – Is the community at a high level of risk from climate change or actively planning community driven relocation?
  • Number of households impacted.
  • Capacity – Is the tribe in a higher level of poverty.
  • Workforce development opportunities.

Does this funding require a match?


Can this funding be used as a match?


How will IA reach out to and coordinate with the tribes?

IA will hold listening sessions and discuss this funding opportunity to include guidance on project design and how to leverage this funding opportunity with additional federal funding opportunities.

Balancing zero emission requirements with need to provide electrification to currently unconnected homes?

  • IRA S 80003 requires that electricity is to be provided “to unelectrified Tribal homes through zero-emissions energy systems” and for “transitioning electrified Tribal homes to zero-emissions"
  • The grant process aims to balance this zero-emissions requirement with the need to connect unelectrified homes to existing power grids
  • The BIA is working with SOL and other SMEs to establish funding criteria to balance these two considerations – options may be to define zero-emissions to include a netting option where energy efficient measures resulting in.

How will the basis of the Proposal requests be determined?

Requests for funding will be based on need, capacity, and readiness.

Was there a consultation made available to tribes?

Previous consultations were conducted December 2022.

Will the spend plan and proposal guidance be available for review?

Yes, with support and guidance from DOE/IED we will submit both documents in draft form to EOP and SOL prior to finalization.

Is IA working with DOE in this process?

DOI is working across multiple federal agencies to determine how best tribes can utilize all IRA funding resources concurrently to include DOE-IED

Is there a Workforce development plan in place?

We are actively working cross-agency to develop an electrification apprenticeship and workforce development program targeted to tribal communities and individuals which supports the Renewable Energy Transition Economy within the IRA guidelines

How will workforce data be tracked?

We’ll use an IMPLAN input-output Industry Output analysis to measure how funds from Sec 80003 Tribal Electrification support jobs both through direct injection of funds into the economy, and how those funds “ripple” through (i.e., are recirculated) in the economy through business-to-business and household transitions. This may be a contracted position.

How is oversight going to be managed?

Oversight will be managed within the Office of Indian Economic Development.

Who do we contact for information?

Contact the Director of the Office of Indian Economic Development:

Contact Us

Office of the Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs
Department of the Interior 1849 C Street, N.W. MS-4660-MIB
Washington, DC 20240