First Nations clean-energy projects funded in B.C.’s Interior, North

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HAZELTON – Four First Nations communities in B.C.’s northern and Interior regions will increase their clean-energy sector participation in local projects, thanks to funding from the province.

The province is partnering with communities throughout B.C. to develop Indigenous-driven energy projects that align with CleanBC, the province’s plan to build a cleaner future and a stronger, more resilient economy.

The First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund (FNCEBF) supports projects that promote energy efficiency and replace diesel dependency with renewable energy in areas such as solar, ocean thermal, wind energy, biomass, run-of-river hydroelectric power and energy-efficiency planning. A key goal of the fund is to increase the participation of Indigenous communities in B.C.’s clean-energy sector, ensuring that communities benefit from the economic opportunities created in their territories in the transition.

The Daylu Dena Council has received $50,000 in capacity funding to design a rooftop solar system for the multi-purpose community centre under construction in the community of Lower Post. The new centre will replace a former residential school building that was torn down in 2021 and provide recreational, educational and cultural spaces for children, Elders and the broader community. It will also serve as the administrative offices for the Daylu Dena Council. Integrating a financially viable solar photovoltaic system into the new community centre will displace diesel consumption in the community.

Three other First Nations communities located in the interior and Northern B.C. also received funding in January 2022:

* Kispiox Band – $30,000 capacity funding to complete a community energy plan, which will establish baseline energy consumption, provide greater understanding of clean-energy generation and efficiency opportunities, and clarify community energy development goals.

* Tŝilhqot’in National Government (TNG) – $30,000 capacity funding to explore one of its clean-energy plan recommendations by further assessing renewable-resource opportunities across Tŝilhqot’in’s traditional territory, including wind, geothermal and biomass resources. TNG will also develop a nationwide energy plan that will review existing clean-energy studies, engage each of the six communities, evaluate cost effectiveness and capacity-building benefits, and provide a detailed implementation plan and funding strategy.

* Witset First Nation – $150,000 equity funding to complete a small-scale solar, residential metering project, which involves installing 20 small-scale residential solar systems on Witset reserve lands, prioritizing vulnerable community members and helping the Nation reach its clean-energy goals.

Perry Cook
Author: Perry Cook

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