- Partner News
- Media Releases
- Mainstream News
July 22, 2020
VICTORIA – Seven clean energy projects in First Nations, northern and rural communities will reduce pollution and make life more affordable through the Community Energy Leadership Program (CELP).
“Through CleanBC, we’re supporting communities across the province to build a cleaner, more sustainable future for British Columbia,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources. “These projects will help local governments and First Nations make energy efficiency improvements and help lower their energy costs.”
CELP supports local government and First Nations investments in energy efficiency and clean energy projects, including building retrofits, heat pumps and solar panels. More than $470,000 in this round of funding will help reduce pollution, lower energy bills, stimulate economic activity and support resilient communities.
“We believe strongly in working with and supporting leaders from Indigenous Nations, communities and industry,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “Together we can increase access to clean energy, reduce pollution and support good jobs as we build back from economic effects of COVID-19. Investing in expanded opportunities for people and communities with new, clean technologies is an integral part of our CleanBC plan for building a stronger, sustainable and better low-carbon future for everyone.”
Approved projects in this round include a solar array on the Elders’ Building for the Ashcroft Indian Band. Part of efforts to develop community resilience in an area affected by wildfires, the project will save the band about $2,775 per year on energy costs.
The Village of Midway will receive funding for energy efficiency retrofits to the Midway Community Centre. Improvements to the hot water system, windows and lighting will increase energy efficiency by up to 50%.
Funding will also be provided for the installation of a battery-power storage bank in the remote community of the Kitasoo/Xai’xais First Nation. This project will reduce the use of diesel generators leading to emissions reductions of 159 tonnes per year.
“Many Indigenous communities are leading the way when it comes to developing and implementing clean-energy alternatives,“ said Scott Fraser, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation. “Through partnerships like these, we’re working with Indigenous peoples on a low-carbon future to support strong, healthy and resilient Indigenous communities in B.C.”
CleanBC is a pathway to a more prosperous, balanced and sustainable future. CleanBC was developed in collaboration with the BC Green Party caucus and Andrew Weaver, MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head, and supports the commitment in the Confidence and Supply Agreement to implement climate action to meet B.C.’s emission targets.
Jennifer Rice, MLA for North Coast –
“The skills of the Kitasoo/Xai’xais First Nation people are putting the community on a path to a cleaner, more energy-efficient future. This project will help boost the economy by providing local jobs for Kitasoo residents who will install the battery-power storage and control system.”
To see the CleanBC plan, which helps reduce pollution and power B.C.’s future with renewable energy, visit: https://cleanbc.gov.bc.ca/
CELP previously funded projects: www.gov.bc.ca/communityenergyleadershipprogram
Fraser Basin Council (Delivery Agent for CELP Round 4): https://www.fraserbasin.bc.ca/CELP.html
A backgrounder with more information on the projects follows.
Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources
B.C. communities benefit from clean energy projects
The following projects received CELP funding under Round 4:
Kitasoo/Xai’xais First Nation:
Battery Power Storage Bank Project – $114,510 for a battery power storage bank and control system with a 125-kilowatt-hour storage capacity. The project will operate interactively with an existing hydroelectric facility to improve the efficiency of water usage and to help address any impacts to water availability for power generation due to climate change. This project will reduce the use of supplementary diesel generators leading to emissions reductions of 159 tonnes of CO2e per year in a B.C. remote community. The total project cost is $347,000.
District of Summerland:
Energy Efficiency and Carbon Reduction Upgrades Project – $57,255 for installation of heat pumps at a waste water treatment plant. The heat pumps will be used to replace existing older natural gas equipment and to supplement newer natural gas equipment. The plant is the most energy intensive of the district’s primary buildings and the project will reduce energy use by almost 800 gigajoules per year. The total project cost is $173,500.
Village of Midway:
Community Centre Expansion and Energy Efficiency Retrofits Project – $68,000 for energy efficiency retrofits to the Midway Community Centre, as part of a larger refurbishment of the building. The project includes energy efficiency improvements to the hot water system, windows and lighting that will increase the centre’s energy efficiency by up to 50%. The total project cost is $1,656,870.
Kanaka Bar Indian Band:
Greening Upper Kanaka Project – $33,000 for a 24-kilowatt solar array and battery storage. The project will install solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on the Band office, health office, a community residential building as well as installing solar PV and energy storage on a new community building. In total the project will save the community over $4,000 a year in energy costs. The total project cost is $111,000.
Lower Nicola Indian Band:
Shulus Community Arena Solar Garden Project – $82,500 for a 100-kilowatt solar array on the Shulus Community Arena. The project will displace approximately 25% to 30% of the arena’s electrical consumption, saving the community about $13,000 in energy costs per year. The total project cost is $250,000.
Ashcroft Indian Band:
Solar Energizing the New Elders’ Building Project – $18,000 for an 18-kilowatt solar array on the newly constructed Elders’ Building. The project is an important element of efforts to develop community resilience in an area badly affected by wildfires. The project will save the band about $2,775 per year. The total project cost is $55,000.
Regional District of Central Kootenay:
Procter Hall Energy Efficiency and Solar Project – $97,020 for energy efficiency upgrades and installation of a 26-kilowatt solar array on the Procter Community Hall. Energy efficiency measures will include improvements to the building envelope, windows, hot water system and replacement of the propane furnace with an air source heat pump. The project will save the community about $4,274 in annual energy costs. The total project cost is $294,500.
Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources