The Province is supporting local governments and First Nations investments in projects that will lower energy costs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lead to more affordable and sustainable community infrastructure.
One of the projects receiving funding is a solar-powered Zamboni ice resurfacer at the Chilton Regional Arena in the Regional District of Mount Waddington. This unique project funds the Zamboni’s conversion from propane power to solar-charged/lithium-ion-battery electric. The upgrade in technology is estimated to save about $9,000-per-year in operating costs.
Four additional communities throughout British Columbia are receiving funding for projects. These include energy efficiency retrofits to community-owned facilities in the District of Clearwater and the Township of Langley, a run-of-river hydro project in Wuikinuxv Nation and a solar-energy system in Xeni Gwet’in First Nations.
“From renewable energy projects in remote First Nations communities, to energy efficiency retrofits in public buildings and a solar-powered Zamboni, these innovative projects will reduce energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions,” said Michelle Mungall, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources. “By promoting conservation, we are also creating good jobs and encouraging economic activity that will benefit communities throughout the province.”
“Our government is investing in clean technology, and by funding projects like these, we are encouraging the development of innovative solutions that can make a significant impact in the fight against climate change,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “We are committed to fostering a sustainable, clean-growth economy that puts people to work while reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, meeting our climate targets and making life more affordable for families.”
The total funding for the projects is $620,000, with $482,000 coming from the Community Energy Leadership Program (CELP) and $138,000 coming from the Remote Community Implementation (RCI) Program.
“The Zamboni project was first proposed to the arena committee as just a conversion to replace the existing 20-year-old unit,” said Andrew Hory, chair, Regional District of Mount Waddington. “However, by fundraising with corporate and private partners and with provincial support, we were able to come up with this innovative machine which saves us money and will help bring our arena service to operational carbon neutral in 2018.”
CELP supports investments in energy efficiency and clean-energy projects that help communities reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, increase energy efficiency, stimulate economic activity and promote partnerships that advance British Columbia’s growing clean-energy sector.
Funding for CELP comes from the B.C. Innovative Clean Energy (ICE) Fund, designed to support the Province’s energy, economic, environmental and greenhouse gas reduction priorities and advance B.C.’s clean energy sector.
The RCI Program has helped B.C.’s remote communities in reducing their dependence on diesel generation by funding capital costs of implementation or construction of clean energy systems, such as hydro, wind and solar energy.
Support for these projects is aligned with the government’s commitment to re-invigorate the ICE Fund to boost investments in ground-breaking new energy technologies, climate change solutions and community-focused energy projects — especially projects that drive development in rural, northern and First Nations communities.
- CELP contributions for 2017-18 range from $30,000 to $160,000 per project. Applicants are required to cover a minimum of 5% of total project costs and secure alternate sources of funding as needed.
- CELP funding for 2017-18 will leverage $3 million in investment from communities and other funding partners.
- Since its launch, CELP has provided $1.2 million for 19 projects to help communities implement local energy efficiency and clean-energy projects.
- The 19 projects that have received funding from CELP will result in annual greenhouse emissions reductions of over 4,000 tonnes, equivalent to taking 850 passenger vehicles off the road each year.
ICE Fund: www.gov.bc.ca/innovativecleanenergyfund
RCI Program: http://www.fraserbasin.bc.ca/ccaq_rci.html
The Regional District of Mount Waddington’s Zamboni is featured in the Recreation Facilities Association of British Columbia’s fall magazine: http://www.rfabc.com/Assets/RFABC+Digital+Assets/pdf/fallf2f2017.pdf
A backgrounder with more information on the projects follows.