The Lhtako Dene Nation will increase its stake in the Castle Mountain Independent power project thanks to a $100,000 investment through the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund.
The equity investment is intended to reduce the nation’s costs associated with its current financing arrangement for equity investments in the Castle Mountain project.
Lhtako Dene plans to create a Community Clean Energy Fund that could also be used to invest in initiatives that have benefits such as reduced energy costs for the community, or to invest in new projects.
The First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund provides funding to First Nations to participate in the clean-energy sector and helps remote Aboriginal communities reduce their reliance on diesel power generation through the Diesel Displacement Fund, which is contingent on matching federal funding.
The Castle Creek facility began producing electricity in 2015 and generates 34,000 megawatt-hours of clean electricity a year, which is enough electricity to power 3,100 homes annually.
Coralee Oakes, MLA, Cariboo North –
“The Lhtako Dene Nation is taking a forward-looking view to their energy needs by exploring clean-energy opportunities. This $100,000 investment will assist the First Nation in expanding their investments and builds on the $30,000 provided in 2013 to study clean-energy options within the Lhtako Dene’s traditional territory.”
Chief Clifford Lebrun, Lhtako Dene Nation –
“Our nation is eager to look at energy options that support the vision we have for our traditional territories. This includes creating new revenue streams for the community and creating employment opportunities for our community members as well as achieving the goal of economic self-sufficiency.”
- The Lhtako Dene Nation has 173 members and their main community is located just south of Quesnel. They are part of the Dakehl (or Southern Carrier) Nation.
- Funding into the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund has increased from $4.2 million in 2016 to $7.2 million for 2017 as more clean-energy power projects have reached commercial operation.
- The fund provides equity funding to First Nations: up to $500,000 for clean-energy projects; up to $150,000 in equity funding toward energy-efficiency projects (also known as demand-side management); and capacity funding up to $50,000.
- Capacity funding supports feasibility studies for developing clean-energy projects or engagement with private-sector clean-energy project proponents.
- Since 2011, more than 110 First Nations communities have benefited from approximately $8 million in capacity and equity funding.
- Funding has supported the development of First Nations clean-energy projects in areas such as ocean thermal, wind energy, biomass, run-of-river hydroelectric power, clean-energy planning and other clean-energy-related areas.
- The fund also provides revenue-sharing agreements with First Nations for a portion of water and land rents charged by the Province for new clean-energy projects.
- If an eligible clean-energy project site is on a traditional territory, First Nations may be eligible for revenue-sharing.
- Thirty-four B.C. First Nations communities benefit from clean-energy revenue-sharing agreements.
- In March 2017, the B.C. government released the Rural Economic Development Strategy, which includes an ongoing commitment to partner with Aboriginal communities to ensure full access to development and growth opportunities.
Lhtako Dene Nation: carrierchilcotin.org/lhtako-dene-nation/
First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund: http://ow.ly/JPz530apMVd
Community Energy Leadership Program: www.gov.bc.ca/communityenergyleadershipprogram
Clean Energy B.C.: www.cleanenergybc.org/