Looking up at sunlight shining through trees

How to approach a Tribal Solar for All project

Steps to take and dates to know

As part of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced Solar for All (SFA), which is a program that provides $7 billion in financial assistance for clean energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions-reducing projects in low-income and disadvantaged communities.

Many of the projects eligible for the SFA program are focused on providing assistance to Tribes. These projects give Tribes and Tribal members the opportunity to use and benefit from solar power. By doing this, Tribes all over the country will have opportunities to lower energy bills for members and ensure homes have resilient, clean and reliable electricity.

With this in mind, there are steps that Tribes can take to begin taking advantage of the SFA opportunity.

Step 1: Start getting your team together
  • Technical assistance may be provided by the SFA recipients, but shovel-ready projects will likely be prioritized for funding
  • Using competitive procurement for additional technical assistance providers or contractors is recommended
  • Reach out to minority- or women-owned businesses with relevant expertise
Step 2: Scope your project
  • Gather energy usage information for eligible households
  • Research similar projects implemented in your area
  • Look into mobilizing additional capital through elective (direct) pay energy tax credits, DOE Tribal Home Electrification and Home Appliance Rebate Program funding, low-income housing tax credits, or other federal and state-level funding
Step 3: Develop internal trained workforce
  • Reach out to your partners and start having conversations that can inform your Tribe’s or region’s clean energy workforce programming, training and job pathways, and support services, (i.e., transportation, childcare, stipends).
  • Access trainings available in your area through the recipients of the DOL Building Pathways to Infrastructure Jobs or the DOL Apprenticeship Building America programs
Prepare for what’s next

Awarded recipients are expected to finalize funding agreements with the EPA this summer and release application instructions, program information and project criteria between July 2024 and August 2025.

Projects with additional capital mobilized through Tribal, state, federal or other funding will likely be prioritized. Here are some programs to look out for, as well as their respective timelines.

Federal funding program Timeline
DOE Grid Resilience Preventing Outages and Enhancing the Resilience of the Electric Grid Grants  Application submissions for 2024 allocation are due June 17, 2024  
HUD Indian Community Development Block Grant (ICDBG) 2024 Due July 15, 2024
HUD Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG) Competitive 2024 Due Aug. 29, 2024
EPA Environmental and Climate Justice Community 
Change Grants Program 
Rolling application period closes on Nov. 21, 2024 
DOE Tribal Home Electrification and Appliance Rebate Program  Rolling application period due May 31, 2025 
We're here to help

Baker Tilly has significant experience assisting Tribes in implementing projects using financial programs funded by federal grants and other sources of capital.

We assist clients with:

  • Preliminary project planning and feasibility to get a project shovel ready
  • Funding options analysis
  • Meeting Federal program funding compliance requirements
  • Determining amount of elective (direct) pay tax credits, supporting ongoing compliance requirements and filing for elective (direct) pay tax credits with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

Baker Tilly’s dedicated energy specialists help Tribes navigate energy projects from feasibility to ultimate completion and commissioning. Our history of providing comprehensive administrative, financial and technical support for complex programs involving federal funding enables our clients to successfully deliver these programs to their constituents.

Get started with a Tribal and energy specialist.

William Cornelius
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