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Government of Canada Announces $2.5 Million for Lac-Mégantic Microgrid Capacity Building

Press Release

From: Natural Resources Canada

October 23, 2023

The Government of Canada is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity system to achieve a net-zero electricity grid by 2035. That is why we are investing in renewable energy initiatives that support Canada’s clean energy transition and lead to decarbonized, smart and integrated utilities that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, keep our air clean and support stronger, healthier communities for everyone to call home.

Today, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of National Revenue, on behalf of the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, announced an investment of $2.5 million for the City of Lac-Mégantic to support capacity-building activities that will increase the knowledge and skills related to the city’s microgrid. Hydro-Québec also contributed to this project, bringing the total investment to $3.75 million.

With this funding, the city will develop new solutions for carbon-neutral, eco-friendly neighbourhoods. Experts in construction, engineering, urban planning and municipal tax funding will come together to produce a framework for the city’s energy transition. The expertise acquired in Lac-Mégantic will then be accessible and adaptable for other municipalities interested in modernizing their grids and enabling the integration of local clean energy production. Projects like this one help lay the foundation for efficient economy-wide electrification.

Hydro-Québec and Lac-Mégantic are currently engaged in the construction of a state-of-the-art building with affordable units equipped with energy-efficient technologies. The goal is to advance the conversation on the best practices and technologies that help foster energy justice and better equity in the energy sector.

Increased knowledge and literacy in energy transition is supported by better-equipped younger generations in Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities. In collaboration with local grade school and high school students, industry experts will create educational materials intended for classroom use. These students will be paired with Indigenous youth from the North to create cultural connections and to exchange knowledge on the energy transition and the technologies that will help Canada achieve it.

The city will launch a citizen’s portal, accessible to all, providing information on energy-efficient best practices for building construction and renovation.

Canada already has one of the cleanest grids in the world, with more than three-quarters of its electricity supply being emissions-free. As we move toward a net-zero economy and electricity system, grid modernization projects such as this will help solidify the country as a leader in clean electricity generation.

Quotes

“Ensuring access to affordable, reliable, clean electricity is a critical step in driving down emissions and seizing the massive economic opportunities that will be enabled through the shift to a low-carbon future. That is why we are investing in our communities and supporting innovative solutions to build more sustainable and prosperous neighbourhoods. Today’s announcement of capacity building in Lac-Mégantic will enable the development of a sustainable microgrid while simultaneously developing best practices that can be implemented across Canada.”

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson
Minister of Energy and Natural Resources

“The first neighbourhood electricity grid in Quebec is born. And the expertise acquired here makes the City of Lac-Mégantic a pioneer in energy transition. This sustainable and replicable governance model can be adopted in other rural communities.”

The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau
Minister of National Revenue

“Since a train full of fossil fuels destroyed downtown Lac-Mégantic, the community has turned to renewable energy and is increasingly recognized as a leader in energy transition in the municipal sector. Quebec’s first neighbourhood-wide microgrid was built in the new downtown area, and now we want to go even further.

The funding we received will make it possible, among other things, to develop a governance model that is mobilizing, sustainable and, above all, replicable for other communities. Thus, the knowledge gained concerning the adoption of technologies by the population, the importance given to the role of the community in the transition and the participatory governance model being implemented will all serve as an inspiration for other rural communities that will also wish to engage in the social and energy transition that involves everyone doing their part.”

Julie Morin
Mayor of Lac Mégantic

Quick facts

  • This project is funded through the Smart Renewables and Electrification Pathways Program (SREPs). This $4.5-billion program which will significantly reduce emissions and create sustainable jobs by continuing to support the deployment of energy storage and renewables in every region of Canada.
  • This support includes nearly $3 billion for the program announced in Budget 2023, which builds on hundreds of millions of dollars in successful funding to support projects that are actively supplying clean, affordable and reliable power to Canadian electrical grids.
  • This program is actively supporting Canada’s ongoing transition to a net-zero economy by 2050 and Canada’s commitment to meeting Clean Electricity Regulations objectives.
  • The Government of Canada recently released Powering Canada Forward, its vision for transforming Canada’s electricity sector and meeting its commitment to decarbonizing the country’s electricity systems as it:o   reiterates why the expansion of a clean electricity system is important and necessary to drive sustainable growth, enhance environmental performance and advance Indigenous reconciliation;o   highlights the extensive work governments and partners have already done to create a dynamic, sustainable electricity sector; and

    o    outlines how the federal government has supported, incentivized and accelerated the production of clean and non-emitting electricity, and will continue to do so.

Associated links

Contacts

Natural Resources Canada
Media Relations
343-292-6100
media@nrcan-rncan.gc.ca

Carolyn Svonkin
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Canada
343-597-1725
carolyn.svonkin@nrcan-rncan.gc.ca

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