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New Energy World magazine logo
New Energy World magazine logo
ISSN 2753-7757 (Online)

US offers remote communities $366mn to lower energy costs and enhance energy security


Solar electric array on off-grid Navajo home in Arizona, US Photo: US Department of Energy
Solar electric array on off-grid Navajo home in Arizona, US

Photo: US Department of Energy

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced funding of more than $366mn to support community-driven energy projects in rural and remote regions to improve access to reliable, affordable energy.

The DOE said the funding – for 17 projects across 20 states and 30 tribal nations and communities in the US – underscores the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to building an inclusive and equitable clean energy future that creates safer, more resilient communities, enhances tribal energy sovereignty, strengthens energy security and delivers new economic opportunities.  


US Secretary of Energy, Jennifer M Granholm, comments: ‘President Biden firmly believes that every community should benefit from the nation’s historic transition to a clean energy future, especially those in rural and remote areas.’


All 17 selected projects are located in or adjacent to disadvantaged communities that are disproportionally overburdened by pollution and historically underserved. Rural and remote communities face a unique set of energy challenges due to their smaller populations and isolation from larger electrical systems, including higher electric bills, unreliable energy supplies, and/or no access to electricity at all.  


For example, 21% of Navajo Nation homes and 35% of Hopi Indian Tribe homes remain unelectrified, according to a 2023 report by the DOE’s Office of Indian Energy. Of the electrified homes within Tribal communities, 31% reported monthly outages. Of the nation’s 350 persistently poor counties, 300 are rural. Low-income residents consistently face an ‘energy burden’, or percentage of household income spent on energy bills, that is three times higher than other households.  


The projects announced cover a range of clean energy technologies, from solar, battery storage systems and microgrids, to hydropower, heat pumps, biomass and electric vehicle charging infrastructure.