The remote Hesquiaht First Nation community in Clayoquot Sound is taking steps to transition from diesel to clean electricity generation and create local jobs under the Province’s CleanBC plan.
The Province’s Renewable Energy for Remote Communities (RERC) program is providing $4.1 million in funding for the 350 kilowatt Ah'ta'apq Creek Hydropower Project to harness hydro power from the creek and significantly reduce diesel use in the community’s power generation system. The project will reduce the community’s diesel consumption by 80%.
“Under CleanBC, our goal is to reduce diesel consumption for power generation in remote communities by 80% by 2030,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources. “Clean, reliable and affordable hydroelectricity is B.C.’s number one strength in the fight against climate change.”
The $16.5-million RERC program helps remote communities shift to renewable energy, moving away from polluting diesel generators to cleaner energy sources. The program, which is administered on behalf of the Province by Coast Funds and the Fraser Basin Council, is designed to complement other initiatives that assist remote communities as they undertake energy planning, increase energy efficiency and decarbonize their energy systems.
The Hesquiaht First Nation clean energy project is one of four to be funded to date under the RERC program. Work is expected to begin this summer.
CleanBC is a pathway to a more prosperous, balanced and sustainable future. CleanBC was developed in collaboration with the BC Green Party caucus and supports the commitment in the Confidence and Supply Agreement to implement climate action to meet B.C.’s emission targets.
Norma Bird, Tribal Administrator, Hesquiaht First Nation –
“The Hesquiaht First Nation would like to thank all funders for the opportunity to build a Hesquiaht First Nation micro-dam for our community. This has been a long road travelled to get off the diesel generator that has been the only power source. It would also be nice to not have the pollution and noise in the community. Hesquiaht would like to thank past and present Chief and Council, Band Administrator, governments, organizations and community for supporting this renewable source of power. Hesquiaht will continue to pursue clean renewable sources of energy for its community.”
David Marshall, chief executive officer, Fraser Basin Council –
“It’s encouraging to see clean-energy projects introduced at a small scale in remote parts of B.C., and exciting to be part of this project. Hesquiaht First Nation and the provincial government are showing that micro-hydro power can reduce emissions and be a viable path to energy self sufficiency and reliability for a small community.”
George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy –
“Together with Hesquiaht First Nation, our government is working to advance reconciliation and transition to a cleaner, better future for Indigenous peoples living in remote communities across the province. Through CleanBC, we’re helping build local clean energy projects that will reduce reliance on fossil fuels and support cleaner air and a better environment for future generations.”
Scott Fraser, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation and MLA for Mid Island-Pacific Rim –
“Remote Indigenous communities are moving forward with greener alternatives, such as replacing dirty diesel power with clean, renewable sources for electricity. Hesquiaht First Nation’s participation in this program is a strong example, bringing sustainable energy practices to Clayoquot Sound and contributing to a cleaner, healthier province for everyone.”
- Over its life, this project will help the community cut about 20,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.
- Coast Funds is responsible for delivering the RERC Program with First Nations located in the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii regions. The Fraser Basin Council is responsible for delivering the RERC Program with all other remote communities in B.C.
- The RERC Program is a key part of the Province’s Remote Community Energy Strategy, announced in the CleanBC Plan. The strategy targets the 22 largest diesel generating stations in B.C. and aims to reduce provincewide diesel consumption for generating electricity in remote communities by 80% by 2030.
Fraser Basin Council: www.fraserbasin.bc.ca
Renewable Energy for Remote Communities: www.gov.bc.ca/renewable-energy-remote-communities
Hesquiaht First Nation: hesquiaht.ca/new/