A new run-of-river hydroelectric facility developed by AltaGas is enabling the Tahltan First Nation to participate in producing clean, sustainable energy in their traditional territory. To boost the Tahltan Nation’s participation in the Volcano Creek Hydroelectric Project, the B.C. government, through the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund, is providing the Tahltan Central Council with $500,000 for an equity investment.
Located near Iskut, B.C., in Tahltan Nation traditional territory, the 16 MW Volcano Creek Hydroelectric Facility captures the energy produced by the natural flow and elevation drop of Volcano Creek. It will deliver clean, renewable hydroelectric power to BC Hydro through the Forrest Kerr 287-kV transmission system, enough energy to power approximately 4,000 homes.
Commissioning of the powerhouse systems and high-voltage switchyard at Volcano Creek were completed in November, and the facility is now tied-in and delivering power to the Northwest Transmission Line at Bob Quinn, B.C. With the $500,000 investment, the Tahltan Nation will acquire an ownership interest in the project and share revenues from the sale of power to BC Hydro. These ownership returns will be in addition to the land and water revenue sharing from the Province under the fund of $3,000 per year for the Volcano Creek Project and $1.1 million per year for the larger Forrest Kerr Project, which is already in operation.
In 2010, AltaGas and the Tahltan First Nation signed an impact benefit agreement (IBA) for the Forrest Kerr run-of-river project, and in 2011, signed two more impact benefit agreements for the Volcano Creek and McLymont Creek run-of-river projects. The IBAs established a formal partnership between AltaGas and the Tahltan Nation enabling the projects to be developed by working together with the Tahltan community. All three hydroelectric facilities are supported by electricity purchase agreements with BC Hydro.
John Rustad, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation -
“This project is an excellent example of how collaboration and partnership with First Nations can generate the kind of business success that will have long-term benefits for First Nations communities, their partners and the people of B.C.”
Chad Day, President, Tahltan Central Council -
“This is an exciting day for our Nation - it’s the first time we have been able to take a large stake in a new development in our territory. It sets us up for the future, will develop our economy and makes sure that we have a voice in the decisions that matter. I would like to thank the Province and AltaGas for their support of the Tahltan Nation on this project.”
Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy and Mines -
“This run-of-river project will provide a new source of energy for B.C. and demonstrates what can be achieved by First Nations and industry when they work together to develop clean-energy resources in First Nations’ traditional territories.”
David Cornhill, Chairman and CEO of AltaGas -
“We are pleased the B.C. government has provided the Tahltan Central Council with funding to acquire an ownership interest in the Volcano Creek Hydroelectric Facility. The Tahltan First Nation has played a key role in the success of the Northwest Projects. We are looking forward to strengthening and building on our partnership with them as we provide clean energy to British Columbia for many decades to come.”
- The Tahltan Nation is composed of 5,000 members and represented by three governments: the Tahltan Band, the Iskut Band and the Tahltan Central Council.
- The First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund is designed to increase First Nations participation in the clean energy sector and helps to create jobs and new economic opportunities throughout B.C.
- Since 2011, more than 90 Aboriginal communities have benefited from $5.7 million in capacity and equity funding. The fund supports wind energy, biomass, run-of-river hydroelectric power and clean energy planning.
- The fund provides equity funding of up to $500,000 and capacity development funding of up to $50,000 to support First Nations with feasibility studies or engagement with private-sector proponents of clean-energy projects.
- The fund also allows First Nations with revenue-sharing agreements to receive a portion of water and land rents charged by the Province for new clean-energy projects.
- The clean-energy sector is one of the fastest-growing in B.C., with more than 200 organizations, 68 per cent of which were formed in the past decade.
Tahltan Nation: http://www.tahltan.org/nation
AltaGas Limited: http://www.altagas.ca/
First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/topic.page?id=1178ADF080E24FDD931DA6FB88D67607
Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and