Press Release

GRID ALTERNATIVES EXPANDS WORK IN TRIBAL COMMUNITIES, ADVANCING ENERGY SOVEREIGNTY WITH RENEWABLE ENERGY

With Bezos Earth Fund, the Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund will scale up work with tribal communities

(Dec. 6, 2021) GRID Alternatives, a national leader in providing access to clean, affordable renewable energy, received a $12 million multi-year grant from the Bezos Earth Fund to grow the scope and scale of the Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund. The Fund is a tribal-led program that partners with tribal communities across the United States to develop their renewable energy capacity and expand solar job opportunities. GRID Alternatives has partnered with tribes since 2010, working alongside local leadership to address the unique needs of each tribal community, and increase energy resilience and sovereignty. Launched in 2020, the Bezos Earth Fund is a $10 billion commitment to fund scientists, activists, NGOs, and private-sector entities that are taking critical action to combat the climate crisis, preserve and protect the natural world, and support climate justice.

The Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund (TSAF) works in alignment with tribes to bring technical, financial, and cultural resources to support their projects and address their unique challenges and opportunities. With the Earth Fund’s support, TSAF will have the essential resources to scale up its impact, reaching more tribal communities, training more individuals, cultivating local tribal leadership, and building capacity for a long-term transition to a sustainable energy future. In addition, TSAF will expand its scope by exploring new technologies, such as clean mobility and battery storage, to advance climate resilience and energy independence, and encourage a national tribal community dialogue around renewable energy that enables tribes to learn from each other. The TSAF addresses the challenges that climate change presents and realizes the opportunities that renewable energy innovations bring for tribal communities nationwide.

“There is a long history of extractive energy exploitation in Indigenous communities and the TSAF was created to support tribes in developing and owning renewable energy infrastructure (solar, battery storage, microgrid, clean mobility) that will lead to their respective energy resilience and energy sovereignty goals,” said Tanksi Clairmont (Sicangu Lakota/Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate), Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund Director.

“We are thankful to the Bezos Earth Fund for this opportunity to catalyze the growth of solar energy and expand solar job opportunities in tribal communities across the United States,” said Adam Bad Wound (Oglala Lakota), Vice President of Philanthropy and TSAF Founder. “This gift will increase tribal renewable energy access and generation while decreasing carbon emissions, reducing economic and energy leakage to keep the benefits within the tribal community, strengthening and enhancing tribal capacity for renewable energy planning and development, and uplifting and supporting tribal energy leaders and youth in renewable energy.”

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About The Bezos Earth Fund
The Bezos Earth Fund is Jeff Bezos’s $10 billion commitment to fund scientists, activists, NGOs, and other actors that will drive climate and nature solutions. By allocating funds creatively, wisely, and boldly, the Bezos Earth Fund has the potential for transformative influence in this decisive decade. Funds will be fully allocated by 2030—the date by which the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals must be achieved.