NM tribes get federal funding for energy projects

Albuquerque, New Mexico (AP) March 2012

The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded more than $1 million to American Indian communities in New Mexico to develop clean energy projects.

In all, more than $6.5 million were awarded to 19 clean energy projects on tribal lands across the country.

Federal officials say the projects will allow tribes to advance clean energy in their communities by assessing local resources, developing renewable energy projects and deploying new technologies.

Jemez Pueblo will get more than $300,000 for activities related to a 4 megawatt solar plant that has been in the works for more than two years.

Zia Pueblo and the Navajo community of Tohajiilee will also receive funding for solar and other projects.

The National Congress of American Indians says tribal lands have enough solar and wind potential to more than meet the nation’s electricity needs.