The Wet'suwet'en First Nation will explore potential clean energy opportunities and ways of reducing energy use through the development of a new community energy plan.
The community has identified the clean energy sector as a strategic priority. The plan will support the community’s examination of clean energy opportunities within its traditional territory and determine if it can or outline how it will provide a source of revenue, create employment opportunities, and contribute to more sustainable energy use.
The plan will also study the community’s energy use and total greenhouse gas emissions and provide options to reduce community energy use. To assist in developing the plan, the Wet'suwet'en First Nation will receive $30,000 in funding support from B.C.’s First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund.
Through B.C.’s First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund, $40,000 is also being provided to the Kitsumkalum First Nation, near Terrace, to study the feasibility of developing a 15-megawatt wood-burning, biomass electrical plant on the nation’s reserve lands.
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.
John Rustad, MLA, Nechako Lakes –
“This funding helps First Nations communities explore a variety of potential benefits, including reduced power consumption, job creation, and new revenue sources from clean energy development.”
Chief Karen Ogen Wet’suwet’en First Nation –
“Clean energy initiatives align with our goal of preserving and maintaining our environment. WFN is committed to ensuring we balance our environmental concerns with any future energy projects we might pursue in our traditional territory. This funding will help us explore some of the clean energy options that might be available.”
- 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:
- Wet’suwet’en First Nation: http://wetsuwetenfirstnation.ca/
- Kitsumkalum First Nation Band: http://www.kitsumkalum.bc.ca/
For more information on the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund, visit: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/topic.page?id=1178ADF080E24FDD931DA6FB88D67607
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.