Finding ways to ensure more efficient and sustainable energy use. That is the focus of community energy plans being developed by three Vancouver Island First Nations with support from the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund.
The K’omoks First Nation, near Courtenay, will receive $28,000 to undertake its community energy plan. The plan will help build community awareness and understanding of energy issues and explore options to improve energy efficiency, reduce electricity use and assess potential opportunities for clean energy projects.
The Snuneymuxw First Nation (pronounced Shnah-NAH-moh), near Nanaimo, will receive $30,000 to undertake an energy and emissions plan for its community. The plan will create awareness in the community of its energy footprint and provide advice to reduce energy use in homes and other buildings. It will also examine how energy efficiency and clean energy generation could be part of future development of band lands.
The We Wai Kai Nation (pronounced WEE-way-kay), near Campbell River, is receiving $30,000 for its community energy plan. The overall goals are to minimize community energy use and reduce energy costs at the band’s cultural centre. Currently, the Nuymbalees Cultural Centre at Cape Mudge, has high power bills that reduce the facility’s net income to the community. Potential clean energy opportunities will also be examined.
Funding for these projects and other agreements is part of the Province’s commitment to reconciliation with First Nations. This includes ensuring more nations are involved in economic opportunities that make their communities and the rest of the Province stronger.
Don McRae, MLA, Comox Valley –
“Through strategies to better meet the First Nation's energy needs and reduce consumption, as well as the development of clean, green energy solutions, these plans will provide significant short and long-term benefits for community members.”
Chief Robert Everson K’omoks First Nation –
“Clean energy will play an important part of our future and will help preserve our way of life by protecting many of the eco-systems within our traditional territory. We are excited to further investigate the conservation of energy and pursuing clean energy alternatives.”
- Since 2011, more than 100 Aboriginal communities have benefited from $6.9 million in funding through the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund.
- The fund supports First Nations participation in ocean and wind energy, biomass, solar, run-of river hydroelectric power, clean energy planning and related 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.
- B.C. has 35 clean energy revenue-sharing agreements with 27 First Nations.
- 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.
First Nations links:
- K’omoks First Nation: http://www.komoks.ca/
Location: Comox Valley, 200 km north of Victoria on Vancouver Island.
- Snuneymuxw First Nation: http://www.snuneymuxw.ca/
Location: Nanaimo River watershed on the east coast of Vancouver Island and including Gabriola Island and other adjacent islands.
- We Wai Kai Nation: http://www.wewaikai.com/
Location: Campbell River area of Vancouver Island.
The First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund (FNCEBF) promotes increased Aboriginal community participation in the clean energy sector within their asserted traditional territories and treaty areas. For more information on the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund, visit: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/topic.page?id=1178ADF080E24FDD931DA6FB88D67607