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Canada Invests in Nine Community-Led Indigenous Clean Energy Projects Across British Columbia

Press Releases

From: Natural Resources Canada

April 16, 2021                                                             Burnaby, British Columbia                                   Natural Resources Canada

The impacts of climate change are felt across Canada, and many Indigenous communities have identified clean, reliable energy as key to a more secure and resilient future. The Government of Canada is investing in community-led clean energy projects with remote Indigenous communities to displace fossil fuels and advance reconciliation and self-determination.

Terry Beech, Member of Parliament for Burnaby North—Seymour, on behalf of the Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr., Minister of Natural Resources, today announced almost $8.4 million for nine community-led clean energy projects across British Columbia that will build capacity and support rural and remote communities reducing their reliance on fossil fuel for heat and power.

Each project is unique, but all of them share the same goals: building a low-emissions energy future by supporting new economic opportunities and creating more energy-resilient communities by reducing their reliance on diesel or propane. Natural Resources Canada supports bioenergy projects that use forest fibre, a sustainably managed and renewable resource.

All nine projects were funded through Natural Resources Canada’s Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities program, a $220-million program to reduce reliance on diesel in rural and remote communities by deploying and demonstrating renewable energy projects, encouraging energy efficiency, and building local skills and capacity. The program is part of the government’s Investing in Canada infrastructure plan, a more than $180-billion investment in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada’s rural and northern communities.

Canada’s strengthened climate plan, A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy, ensures Canada is a world leader in clean power. Canada is investing an additional $300 million over five years to give rural, remote and Indigenous communities currently reliant on fossil fuel the opportunity to be powered by clean, reliable energy by 2030.

Quotes

“Indigenous communities are showcasing their innovative solutions for combatting climate change, all while creating local jobs and advancing self-determination. We congratulate them on their leadership in their energy transformation.”

Terry Beech
Member of Parliament for Burnaby North—Seymour

“Indigenous Peoples are taking economic development in their own hands. They’re finding the low-emissions solutions to build the clean energy future we need. We’re working in partnership to get to net zero.”

The Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr.
Minister of Natural Resources

“With the support of Natural Resources Canada, while embracing innovative technology, Kwadacha Nation is creating a briquette-making operation to produce affordable biomass fuel made from residual sawdust that is a byproduct of the chipping operation feeding our biomass-fueled combined heat and power system. The sawdust will be compressed into briquettes suitable for use in residential woodstoves. The funding from Natural Resources Canada’s Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities Program will help our community turn a large amount of wood waste from a potential fire-hazard into a valuable home heating resource and will provide economic development and employment opportunities for our members.”

Darryl McCook
Chief, Kwadacha First Nation

“The Tsay Keh Dene Nation fully supports the construction and implementation of a first-class Biomass System, to replace 100% of the current diesel-generated power in community. This project not only reduces environmental impacts but relocates high-end, sustainable jobs to our remote community.”

Johnny Pierre
Community Chief, Tsay Keh Dene Band

“The Biomass project has been a much needed addition to the success of our nursery. It provides us with a sustainable, fossil-free source of energy that results in cost savings and allows us to direct those savings to other areas of our business.”

Diane Calliou
General Manager, Twin Sisters Native Plants Nursery

“Gitxsan Energy Inc. is thankful for the contribution to the Conversion of Gitksan Wet’suwet’en Education Society (GWES) College to Bioheat. This winter, we were able to start collecting and analyzing the impacts of this project. GWES was consuming up to 1600L/day of propane and with the bioheat boilers, it is using 45L/day; 3% of the propane. Pellets and maintenance are provided by Gitxsan Energy Inc., providing 2.5 full-time employees with stable employment.”

Kelsey Harmse
Chief Administrative Officer, Gitxsan Energy Inc.

“Lake Babine Nation welcomes the opportunity to be part of the climate change solution through the production of clean energy in our territories. At the same time, this biomass project lays a foundation for long-term economic opportunities that will positively impact LBN families and businesses for generations to come.”

Gordon Alec
Chief, Lake Babine Nation

“We appreciate the support to do the groundwork we need to build accessible, equitable and resilient systems for now and into the future. Empowered Energy Solutions is a community response to community needs, grounded in relationships and shared values, and this funding allows us to centre those relationships and values in our process and research.”

Kesia Nagata
Energy Coordinator, Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition

“Tlingit Homeland Energy Limited Partnership is one company in the Taku Group of Companies that is 100% owned by Taku River Tlingit First Nation. THELP is working to expand clean energy generation alongside our existing hydro project that serves our little remote community of Atlin, B.C. THELP will generate energy to sell into Yukon to continue our journey to net zero. Our hard work and great relationship with B.C., Yukon and Canada allows us all to benefit from the move from GHG-emitting energy production to clean energy production. We are very proud to build these projects with our partners B.C., Yukon and Canada. We are all in this together.”

Peter Kirby
President and CEO, Tlingit Homeland Energy Limited Partnership

“The Lhoosk’uz Dene (Klukus) Nation has been engaged with FPInnovations since we were introduced to the Combined Heat and Power (CHP) technology in 2018. Our off-grid community is sited approximately 190 kilometres west of Quesnel and is powered by diesel generators. Our territory was heavily impacted by pine beetle, and the dead pine is required fuel to be chipped, dried and fed into the CHP unit to produce the power supply for the community. We will be creating a green power supply while removing the biomass fire hazard surrounding the community.”

Liliane Squinas
Chief, Lhoosk’uz Dene Nation

“FPInnovations has implemented a program that supports Indigenous communities in the development of forest-based economic opportunities and has established collaborations that deliver positive results for those communities. Working with the Lhoosk’uz Dene Nation on one of the first Combined Heat and Power technology implementations in a remote community in Canada has been an incredible journey. We are feeling very confident that other communities could follow Lhoosk’uz Dene’s example. We are honoured to support the community in this endeavor.”

Christoph Schilling
Indigenous Program Lead, FPInnovations

Associated links

Contacts

Media Relations
Natural Resources Canada
Ottawa
343-292-6100
[email protected]

Ian Cameron
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Natural Resources
613-447-3488
[email protected]

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