Semiahmoo First Nation will develop a community clean-energy plan to reduce its environmental footprint thanks to a $30,000 investment from B.C.’s First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund.
Semiahmoo will develop a community energy plan with an emphasis on the energy efficiency of homes and buildings on its reserve. Once energy data is collected from all structures in the community, the First Nation will plan the next steps of how its energy efficiency can be improved.
Data related to on-reserve energy use is important for planning building renovations, energy retrofits and the potential for reducing energy use when developing other proposals. Economic development opportunities may also come forward as specific building requirements for new construction in the community are developed.
The First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund provides funding to First Nations to participate in the clean-energy sector and helps Aboriginal communities reduce their reliance on diesel power generation.
Gordon Hogg, MLA for Surrey-White Rock –
“This funding will support Semiahmoo First Nation in assessing their energy needs and plan for future buildings and retrofits. It’s part of B.C.’s commitment to work with First Nations communities to explore sustainable economic opportunities while supporting climate leadership.”
Chief Harley Chappell, Semiahmoo First Nation –
“Our community members have told us that energy efficiency is a priority, as are economic development and job opportunities. This funding supports all three of those priorities and positions us to plan for the future.”
- Semiahmoo First Nation has 98 members and is just south of Vancouver on the U.S. border.
- Funding into the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund has increased from $4.23 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 118 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 a revenue-sharing agreement.
- Thirty-four B.C. First Nations communities benefit from clean-energy revenue-sharing agreements under the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund.
- 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.
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/