B.C.’s First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund is providing more than $750,000 to nine First Nation clean-energy projects that will explore alternative energy sources and help remote Aboriginal communities reduce their reliance on diesel power generation.
The largest project is a 350-kilowatt run-of-river hydroelectricity facility in the Wuikinuxv First Nation traditional territory on B.C’s central coast. The clean-energy fund will provide the First Nation $150,000 to reduce diesel use and $250,000 in equity funding. The hydro project is expected to replace 92% of electricity being produced in the community by diesel generators.
The project is partially supported through a new component of the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund specifically for diesel displacement that will provide approximately $700,000 a year over the next three years to remote First Nations.
Eight other First Nation clean-energy projects are receiving funding through the January 2017 intake of the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund:
North Island/South Coast
- Tlowitsis Nation run-of-river hydroelectric facility – $75,000 equity funding
- Tlatlasikwala First Nation clean-energy feasibility study – $47,220
- Kwikwasut’inuxw Haxwa’mis First Nation clean-energy literacy and battery storage – $20,000
- Quatsino First Nation environmental-impact study for run-of-river project – $18,000
- Ts’elxweyeqw Tribe Society run-of-river feasibility study – $43,840
- Semiahmoo First Nation community energy plan – $30,000
- Lhtako Dene Nation run-of-river hydro facility equity funding – $100,000
- Westbank First Nation solar panel feasibility study – $20,380
Applications for the next First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund intake will be accepted until the end of May.
John Rustad, Minster of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation –
“The First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund has provided more than $8 million to B.C. First Nations that want to find cleaner ways of generating power. This renewed commitment to target remote communities and reduce their reliance on diesel generators will not only reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, it makes the communities more self-reliant.”
Bill Bennett, Minster of Energy and Mines –
“Creating partnerships between industry and First Nations is an important part of the Province’s planning in natural-resource sectors. Supporting these communities to make them more energy efficient and generate power on their own are critical parts of developing economic opportunities and improving quality of life in the more remote areas of B.C.”
Chief Rose Hanuse Hackett, Wuikinuxv First Nation –
“Our community wants to end its reliance on costly, polluting diesel generators for our electricity. In partnership with the Province, this project is a positive step toward our shared goal of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions and creating affordable self-sufficiency for our 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 B.C. First Nations Clean Energy Business 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 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/