Daily Energy Insider: Department of Energy announces up to $2 billion in loan guarantees for energy projects in tribal communities

The U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) has announced up to $2 billion in loan guarantees to advance energy development projects and efforts that create new economic opportunities in Native American communities. 
The DoE Loan Programs Office (LPO) announced the first loan guarantee solicitation under the Tribal Energy Loan Guarantee Program (TELGP) on Tuesday. Established under the Energy Policy Act of 2015, the TELGP program will leverage partial loan guarantees to fuel private investments and to make commercial debt financing more available in tribal energy markets. 
“The department has heard from tribes that they can have difficulty accessing the debt capital necessary to finance energy development projects that will benefit Indian country,” U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry said. “Through TELGP, the department will work in partnership with private sector lenders to help them better understand the unique characteristics of tribal energy opportunities and catalyze future private sector investment that will have a meaningful impact on tribal economies and help advance the Administration’s infrastructure agenda.” 
Speaking in support of the program, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) highlighted opportunities to enhance and build on energy infrastructure in more than 200 tribal village and rural communities throughout Alaska. 
“The main barrier to turning those ideas into actual projects is financing, so I’m glad the Department of Energy is standing up the tribal energy loan guarantee program to help close that gap,” Murkowski said. “New investments in energy development in Native American and Alaska Native communities, where energy and heating costs can be dangerously high, is something we need to do every chance we get.” 
LPO has supported more than $30 billion in financing for energy infrastructure projects and new technology markets. With Tuesday’s announcement, LPO has more than $40 billion in open energy infrastructure loans and loan guarantees. 
“As Chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, I am encouraged to see the Department of Energy’s commitment to investing in Indian energy production,” U.S. Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) said. “This tribal energy loan guarantee program will help Indian tribes develop their energy resources and create economic opportunities for tribal communities.” 
Tina Danforth, president of the Native American Finance Officers Association, said TELGP represents a “significant opportunity” for Indian country. 
“Deploying $2 billion in loan guarantees will strengthen tribal economies through private sector investment in a wide range of energy projects and activities,” Danforth said. 

By:  Aaron Martin
Source: Daily Energy Insider

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