A new agreement with the B.C. government will enable the Lil’wat First Nation to participate in provincial revenue-sharing from the development and operation of the Upper Lillooet run-of-river hydroelectric project now being constructed in the Pemberton Valley.
The provincial revenue-sharing agreement is enabled by B.C.'s First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund, which aims to promote increased First Nations participation in the clean-energy sector.
The Upper Lillooet Hydroelectric project is composed of two generating facilities with a total capacity of 106 mega-watts. The first is the 81.4 mega-watt Upper Lillooet River Hydroelectric facility and the second is the 25.3 mega-watt Boulder (Pebble) Creek Hydroelectric facility. When fully operational, the project will provide enough electricity to power approximately 17,000 homes.
During the three-year construction phase, the two projects are expected to provide many opportunities for First Nations and local contractors, suppliers, and businesses for the supply of equipment, materials, services and accommodations.
It is forecasted that Lil’wat First Nation will receive approximately $7,400 in revenues for the 2014-15 fiscal year. Upon the project reaching full capacity, revenues provided to Lil’wat are forecasted to increase significantly.
The signing of this agreement means that the provincial government has now reached 33 non-treaty agreements with First Nations since the BC Jobs Plan was launched in 2011, supporting economic opportunities for both First Nations and neighbouring communities.
John Rustad, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Minister -
“The run of river projects being developed by Lil’wat First Nation and its partners are clean, sustainable new sources of hydro-electricity that will power B.C. homes and industry. As the clean energy sector continues to grow, we are committed to ensuring that First Nations benefit both socially and economically from the revenues it provides.”
Chief Lucinda Phillips, Lil’wat First Nation -
“The Upper Lillooet Project is a major project in a portion of our territory of significant importance to Lil’wat. We worked extensively with Innergex to minimize the impacts of the project on the environment and important Lil’wat sites. We anticipate that the project will bring long-term benefits to the Lil’wat Nation and to other British Columbians by providing a clean, sustainable source of hydro-electric power.”
Jordan Sturdy, MLA for West Vancouver-Sea to Sky -
“This project not only benefits the Lil’wat First Nation, but will also provide hydro-electricity to help power homes and industry throughout B.C. with clean, renewable energy.”
Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy and Mines -
“First Nations and their partners continue to support the clean-energy sector in their traditional territories. These agreements provide jobs, and show what can be accomplished through collaboration. By demonstrating leadership in the growing clean energy sector, First Nations are bringing economic benefits to their communities.”
Michel Letellier, president and CEO of Innergex Renewable Energy, Inc. -
“The co-operation of First Nations and renewable power producers in B.C. is a clear success story. The fact that the B.C. government shares part of its revenues from the Upper Lillooet Hydro Project with the Lil’wat Nation is proof of that. For Innergex the Lil’wat Nation is a strong partner in the development and construction of the project. The Upper Lillooet Hydro Project provides opportunities and tangible benefits to the Lil’wat, and to the region.”
- British Columbia is the first province to share revenue from mining, forestry and other resources with First Nations.
- The First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund provides money to build capacity in First Nations communities and invest in clean-energy infrastructure.
- Through the revenue-sharing agreements, participating First Nations will receive a share of water rentals and land rents charged by the Province for licences issued to the power developer for the life of a project.
- Since 2011, the provincial government has invested approximately $5.1 million in capacity and equity funding to support clean energy opportunities in 80 Aboriginal communities across B.C., including wind energy, biomass, run-of-river hydroelectric power and clean energy planning.
- The clean-energy technology industry is one of the fastest growing industries in B.C., with more than 200 organizations, 68% of which were formed in the past decade.
For more information about the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund visit: http://www.gov.bc.ca/arr/economic/fncebf.html
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation
250 213-6451 (cell)