West Moberly First Nations and Saulteau First Nations will move ahead with a biomass conversion project to make the Twin Sister Native Plant Nursery more energy efficient, supported by a $150,000 equity investment from the Province.
Funding is provided through B.C.'s First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund (FNCEBF), which supports Indigenous communities in their efforts to pursue clean-energy projects. The FNCEBF supports CleanBC, the Province’s plan to build a cleaner future that creates opportunities for all British Columbians while protecting B.C.'s clean air, land and water.
The project will replace Twin Sister Native Plants Nursery’s current forced-air and radiant propane-fuelled system with a forest-based biomass system that will optimize efficiency and result in a meaningful reduction of air emissions and greenhouse gases.
West Moberly First Nations expects the project to be complete in mid-2020.
The 2018 First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund provided funds to six other First Nations to prioritize clean-energy equity projects in their communities. A total of $2.09 million in additional funding was granted to:
- Dzawada’enuxw First Nation – $500,000 to create a hydropower project to reduce its reliance on diesel power generation;
- Ehattesaht First Nation – $500,000 to purchase equity in a run-of-river hydroelectricity plant, enabling the Nation to purchase additional units and reduce debt;
- Tsilhqot’in National Government – $300,000 to support the redevelopment of an industrial brownfield into a solar farm;
- Westbank First Nation – $150,000 to build a rooftop solar farm to demonstrate the viability of clean energy;
- Homalco First Nation – $140,000 to implement a community energy plan that will introduce efficiency upgrades to homes and community buildings; and
- Hesquiaht First Nations – $500,000 for construction of a hydropower plant to reduce the use of diesel generators.
The FNCEBF also provided a combined $250,000 in capacity funding to seven First Nations to support clean-energy strategies and planning.
Applications for the next FNCEBF intake will be accepted until the end of May 2019.
Chief Roland Willson, West Moberly First Nations –
“The West Moberly First Nations are proud to be partnered with Saulteau First Nations on the first Indigenous plant nursery located in the northeast region of British Columbia. We are excited that we are able to reduce our carbon footprint by weaning ourselves off of fossil fuels and turning to a biomass heating unit. We believe that we need to walk the talk about healing the land, and this opportunity to replace our need to use a fossil fuel with a cleaner and renewable resource puts us one step closer to a carbon-neutral world.”
Scott Fraser, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation –
“First Nations are moving forward with greener alternatives, such as solar, in meeting their energy needs. This work is an important part of our CleanBC strategy and supports self-determination. All of us in every area of the province have an important part to play in putting B.C. on a path that powers our future with clean, renewable energy and reduces air pollution.”
George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy –
“Whether solar, wind or other clean-energy sources, the replacement of diesel generation with clean energy through these projects will help us use less fossil fuels while generating new economic activity, new jobs and building our clean economy. It’s important that the opportunities of our CleanBC plan are accessible to all British Columbians. That’s how rural and Indigenous communities can share in a more prosperous, balanced and sustainable future.”
Michelle Mungall, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources –
“The First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund helps to bring ideas, vision and innovation to reality to meet CleanBC goals. By transitioning to cleaner electricity options, Indigenous communities can become more energy efficient while creating local jobs and economic opportunities.”
- The total annual budget is approximately $7.74 million for the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund for 2019-20.
- Since 2010, more than 110 First Nations have benefited from more than $10 million in capacity and equity funding.
- The B.C. FNCEBF provides equity funding to First Nations up to $500,000 for clean-energy projects, up to $150,000 in equity funding toward community energy projects (energy efficiency, demand-side management and small fuel-switching projects) and capacity funding up to $50,000.
- Capacity funding supports community energy planning, feasibility studies for developing clean-energy projects or engagement with private-sector clean-energy project proponents.
Provincewide news release and backgrounder information: http://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2019IRR0004-000382
West Moberly First Nations: http://www.westmo.org/
First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund: http://ow.ly/JPz530apMVd