Ten Indigenous communities on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands will join B.C.’s clean-energy sector with local projects following support from the Province.
The Province is partnering with Indigenous communities throughout B.C. to work toward a low-carbon future by providing funding from the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund (FNCEBF).
The fund helps develop clean-energy projects driven and owned by Indigenous communities in areas such as solar, ocean thermal, wind energy, biomass, run-of-river hydroelectric power, energy-efficiency planning and other clean energy-related areas. A key goal of the fund is to increase the participation of Indigenous communities in B.C.’s clean-energy sector.
The FNCEBF provides Indigenous communities with clean-energy support in the areas of studies and planning, equity funding and revenue sharing.
The Uchucklesaht Tribe Government near Port Alberni has received $49,708 in capacity funding for the Ts’a:ʔaqo:ʔa (Uchuck Creek) hydro project. As the Nation begins to rebuild its historic village, more residents are returning home, which has put strain on electricity demand. The funding will help transition the community from reliance on diesel generators to a cleaner hydroelectric power source and bring back the quiet tranquillity that Elders remember about the historic village.
Nine other Indigenous communities located in B.C. island communities received funding in 2021:
- Halalt First Nation — $145,875 in equity funding to support Phase III of an implementation project that promotes efficient energy consumption and savings;
- Homalco First Nation — $20,012 in capacity funding to advance Orford micro-hydro operations and create a maintenance plan;
- Klahoose First Nation — $203,876 in equity funding for a project that will replace diesel power generation for the Klahoose Wilderness Resort with hydroelectric power from Laurus Creek;
- ‘Na̲mg̲is First Nation — $100,000 in equity funding for heat pump installations;
- Pacheedaht First Nation — $30,000 in capacity funding to develop a community energy plan and conduct a micro-grid pre-feasibility study;
- Penelakut Tribe — $100,000 in equity funding to start Phase I of their community energy plan, which focuses on identifying energy-efficiency opportunities for residential and community buildings and renewable energy development;
- Quatsino First Nation — $100,000 in equity funding for heat pump installations;
- c̓išaaʔatḥ (Tseshaht) First Nation — $30,000 in capacity funding to develop a community energy plan; and
- Wei Wai Kum First Nation — $30,000 in capacity funding to develop and execute their community energy plan that promotes efficient energy consumption and savings.
The FNCEBF is also resetting its capacity funding limit to $50,000 for all Indigenous communities to access for clean-energy projects.
In 2021, the fund provided more than $3.8 million to support new capacity and equity projects in 27 Indigenous communities throughout the province. The FNCEBF is accepting applications for the next intake until Jan. 31, 2022.
The FNCEBF aligns with the Province’s CleanBC Roadmap to 2030, which aims to create a balanced, sustainable future for climate action and the economy.
- Since the FNCEBF began, more than 134 Indigenous communities have benefited from $18 million in capacity and equity funding.
- In 2021, the FNCEBF distributed more than $8 million to Indigenous communities.
- The FNCEBF provides equity funding to Indigenous communities:
- as much as $500,000 for clean-energy projects;
- as much as $150,000 in equity funding toward community energy projects such as energy-efficiency, demand-side management and small fuel-switching projects; and
- as much as $50,000 in capacity funding for projects like community energy planning, feasibility studies or engagement with private-sector clean-energy project proponents.
- Currently, 46 First Nations benefit from 71 clean-energy revenue-sharing agreements with B.C. that are based on new net, incremental revenue to government, derived from water rentals and land rents. Eventually, First Nations will also benefit from wind-participation rents.
First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund: http://ow.ly/JPz530apMVd
Clean Energy BC: www.cleanenergybc.org/
Murray Rankin, Minster of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation –
“We’re working to support First Nations in developing clean-energy alternatives, especially in remote communities. The First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund continues to be a great resource to strengthen Indigenous participation in the clean-energy sector and support energy-efficient, resilient communities in their transition to a low-carbon future.”
Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation –
“Partnerships between industry and First Nations play an important part in building a low-carbon economy with new clean-energy jobs, while also improving quality of life in remote areas of B.C. Supporting First Nation communities in becoming more energy efficient provides a direct and sustainable path to achieving CleanBC’s climate targets.”
Michele Babchuk, MLA for North Island –
“For many Indigenous communities on the Island, diesel power has been the norm for a long time. Many of these First Nations are leading work to produce local and clean energy, reduce their emissions and provide services and jobs to their communities. I’m glad we’re able to support that work while tackling big issues like climate change and infrastructure.”
Ryan Anaka, director of lands and resources and deputy CAO for Uchucklesaht Tribe Government –
“For several years, Uchucklesaht’s village population has been limited by poor housing conditions. In the past two years, Uchucklesaht was able to secure funding to rebuild the historic village. As more people are returning home, the demands on the diesel system, which provides electricity for the village, is getting higher. As a result, Uchucklesaht began looking for more efficient and greener energy-producing options. Citizens who grew up in the village talk about their memories of how quiet and peaceful their home was before the generators. Funding for this project will help Uchucklesaht become more self-sufficient, reduce dependence on diesel-burning generators, reduce maintenance requirements and help bring quietness back to the village.”
Chief Chris Roberts, Wei Wai Kum First Nation –
“Wei Wai Kum First Nation is excited to have received funding from the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund. This money is contributing to the development of our community energy plan, and we have hired a Wei Wai Kum member to work on this project, engage with the community and promote energy management and clean energy within the Nation. This is a project we have been eager to start, and we are enthusiastic about the opportunities to further progress renewable-energy and energy-efficiency projects once our community energy plan is complete.”