Seneca Environmental gets Alliance for Tribal Clean Energy distinction

Seneca Environmental Alliance for Tribal Clean Energy solar
Seneca Environmental president Jeff Ellis being presented with the Preferred Provider acknowledgment at the 2024 Tribal Energy Equity Summit.

Seneca Environmental has been selected as the first Preferred Provider for the Alliance for Tribal Clean Energy, an Indigenous-led nonprofit organization offering no-cost capacity-building support to tribal nations based on a strong foundation of Native American culture and values.

Advancing the self-determined efforts of Native American Tribes to transition toward clean energy, the Alliance is currently supporting over 75 tribes with nearly 8 GW of clean energy in development. The Alliance’s critical work to propel a tribal clean energy movement is supported by philanthropic partners, including the Rockefeller Foundation, the Hewlett Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation and many others.

With its Preferred Provider Program, the Alliance is addressing barriers to renewable energy development on Native land. At least 60 GW of untapped solar energy potential and at least 1 GW of wind potential exist on Native lands, and unprecedented new federal legislation and initiatives have made billions of dollars of funding available for tribal renewable energy projects. However, many Native communities lack the capacity to finance and build these projects, and finding trusted renewable energy development companies and partners is a significant obstacle.

To bridge these gaps, the Alliance is serving as a liaison between renewable energy companies and Native communities. The Alliance Preferred Provider Program helps tribes connect with highly qualified, ethical renewable energy developers and service providers. To become eligible for the Preferred Provider Program, providers must undergo a rigorous evaluation and cultural training process. Companies must be willing to prioritize traditional cultural preservation alongside renewable energy development.

“We are pleased to partner with Seneca Environmental, the first official Preferred Provider that has successfully completed our vetting process,” said Chéri Smith, president and CEO of the Alliance for Tribal Clean Energy. “Seneca Environmental has consistently shown a dedication to building trusted relationships with tribes. With their strong technical expertise and ample capacity, they have proven their ability to deliver results. What sets them apart is their commitment to meeting tribes where they are and empowering them to drive decisions. This approach ensures that project prioritization and ownership models are closely aligned with the tribe’s goals.” 

The Preferred Provider Program is a natural fit for Seneca Environmental, the energy solutions division of Seneca Holdings LLC, wholly owned by the Seneca Nation. As one of a few tribally owned renewable energy development and services companies in the nation, Seneca Environmental is ideally positioned to work with Native communities in an equitable and respectful way.

“Seneca Environmental is honored to be the first Preferred Provider with the Alliance for Tribal Clean Energy, which is serving a pivotal role in helping Native communities harness the power of renewable energy,” said Jeffrey Ellis, CEO of Seneca Holdings. “In our work with Native communities across the nation, we are helping tribes develop projects that are aligned with their unique goals. We are also committed to building capacity across Indian Country so that Native communities can improve their economies and further their energy independence.”

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