Canada and province help BC First Nations implement new clean energy projects

Canada and province help BC First Nations implement new clean energy projects
Canada and province help BC First Nations implement new clean energy projects

May 23, 2024 – Vancouver, British Columbia – PacifiCan

Thirty-five First Nations in British Columbia will receive $9.8 million in federal and provincial funding to develop clean energy projects that will help them meet their energy needs efficiently and sustainably, while creating more jobs for members of their communities.

“First Nations are key partners as we work together to build cleaner, more resilient communities and power B.C.’s growing economy with renewable electricity,” said Josie Osborne, Minister of Energy. Energy, Mining and Low Carbon Innovation. “Whether it’s rooftop solar, residential heat pumps or large-scale wind power generation, the projects funded today will advance clean energy for Indigenous people and create new opportunities in the entire province. »

These projects are funded by the BC Aboriginal Clean Energy Initiative (BCAI), a partnership between the Government of Canada, the Province of British Columbia and New Relationship Trust (NRT). This IEPACB funding round includes $7.5 million from PacifiCan and Indigenous Services Canada and approximately $2.3 million from the Government of British Columbia through its CleanBC plan. The funding will help First Nations develop and implement clean energy production, energy efficiency and energy storage projects, creating employment and business opportunities in their communities.

“New Relationship Trust is committed to supporting First Nations leadership in clean energy across British Columbia. These efforts reduce greenhouse gas emissions, stimulate economic growth and promote the well-being of urban and rural Indigenous communities across the province,” said Walter Schneider, President and CEO of NRT. “The BC Indigenous Clean Energy Initiative stands out for its funding program that is guided by Indigenous leadership and promotes collaboration across diverse sectors, from government to industry to First Nations organizations. »

Clean energy projects vary in size and scope: installation of air Source heat pumps in 70 homes for the Sik-E-Dakh strip; installation of a photovoltaic system on a former fish farm redeveloped into a research center on regenerative forestry practices for the Kwiakah First Nation; completion of a feasibility study for a 40 megawatt wind project for the Metlakatla First Nation.

To further support First Nations clean energy projects, the province, NRT and PacifiCan are set to begin work on designing a new funding stream for the IEPACB that will allow renewable energy projects to small-scale businesses that are not eligible to submit to BC Hydro’s power calls due to their size, to move forward and contribute to the power grid. This new sector will be funded to the tune of $140 million, an amount that was first announced in June 2023. This design process will begin with an engagement period to gather ideas from interested First Nations.

The full list of projects can be found in the backgrounder here.

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