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Aug 02, 2022
The Métis Crossing Solar Project will more than offset the electricity used for all Métis Nation of Alberta operations.
Smoky Lake, AB – August 2, 2022 – The Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) has announced plans to proceed with the construction phase of the Métis Crossing Solar Project (MCSP), a community generation solar project located in Smoky Lake County at Métis Crossing, a signature cultural destination of the MNA. Led by the MNA, the MCSP is a collaboration between the Métis Nation of Alberta, the Town of Smoky Lake, and Smoky Lake County. ATCO has been selected as the partner to construct the solar project through a competitive bidding process.
The project was developed as a key initiative of the MNA Climate Change Action Plan. The development of the solar facility will provide economic and community benefits to all community partners. Profits generated from the MCSP will be used to fund social and economic development initiatives and programs through the MNA, benefitting Métis people across Alberta.
A portion of project profits will also support a Community Development Fund to encourage sustainable development in the local community. The facility is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 4,700 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent during its first year of operations and produce enough electricity to power more than 1,200 Alberta homes.
Additional economic benefits will be provided to the local community by hosting an infrastructure project of this size. The project has also committed to hiring and supporting Métis and local community sub-contractors. The County of Smoky Lake will receive significant tax revenue as a result of the project.
Construction of the solar project is expected to begin in the Summer 2022, with a target energization date of Spring 2023. A formal groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for Fall 2022.
Funding for the project has been provided by Natural Resources Canada’s Smart Renewables and Electrification Pathways (SREPs) program, the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre’s Municipal Community Generation Challenge, and Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Low Carbon Economy Fund.
The MNA and ATCO will be hosting an Open House on Wednesday, August 17 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Metis Crossing. Local and Métis businesses and contractors are encouraged to attend to learn about possible job opportunities available in the construction phase of this major project.
“Métis Crossing is an integral part of the MNA’s growth and development, and sustainability is at the heart of this journey. As stewards of our Homeland, we work every day to preserve and protect our environment for future generations. The Métis Crossing Solar Project is a huge step toward this goal, and I thank our partners for helping to make it a reality.”
Audrey Poitras, President, Métis Nation of Alberta
“Métis Crossing is place for Métis people to share their distinct Indigenous story with the world. Our connection with the land is an essential element of our story and we strive to integrate sustainability and our connection with the land throughout all of the infrastructure and programming that we offer at Métis Crossing.”
Juanita Marois, CEO, Métis Crossing
The Town of Smoky Lake is honoured to engage in a successful partnership with Metis Nation of Alberta and Smoky Lake County to initiate the Metis Crossing Solar Project (MCSP). This collaboration will bring sustainable development and economic growth to the Smoky Lake Region as a whole, and we are thrilled to see this notable project move forward.
Amy Cherniwchan, Mayor, Town of Smoky Lake
“Smoky Lake County is excited by the partnerships and work unfolding at Métis Crossing such as this solar project which is a collaboration between the Métis Nation of Alberta, the Town of Smoky Lake, and the County. This project will economically benefit each of our communities, while also offsetting greenhouse gas emissions and reducing the carbon footprint. Congratulations to the Métis Nation of Alberta for its leadership in the utilization of renewable energy sources. This project is cause for celebration, including in the context of the Victoria District Economic Development Strategy.”
Lorne Halisky, Division Councillor & Reeve, Smoky Lake County
“The Government of Canada is pleased to be supporting the Métis Nation of Alberta’s deployment of this 4.86-megawatt solar energy project. This innovative initiative creates sustainable jobs, provides clean power to the Nation and reduces emissions. Indigenous leadership in clean energy is critical to both achieving Canada’s ambitious climate targets and enacting economic reconciliation”
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources
“The Métis Nation of Alberta is demonstrating strong Indigenous leadership with climate actions that will help the community save money on monthly operating costs and grow the economy. Through the Low Carbon Economy Fund, our government partners with climate leaders nationwide to cut emissions—and will continue to do so through a renewed commitment of an additional $2.2 billion. LCEF is an important part of Canada’s 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan. Bravo to the leadership shown by the Métis Nation of Alberta for helping to keep our air clean and build resilient communities.”
The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
“Renewable energy investments represent more than decarbonization — they embody the values of Indigenous Peoples as stewards of the land. Built at Métis Crossing, the project will offset the carbon footprint of Métis Nation of Alberta buildings and build more resilient communities for the future.”
The Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance
“Rural municipalities are partners in Alberta’s climate change initiatives. Through this project, rural communities, working in collaboration with Indigenous communities, are creating tangible benefits and contributing to global climate change goals.“
Paul McLaughlin, President, Rural Municipalities of Alberta
“Alberta Municipalities is committed to advocating for the needs of all our members, from the smallest village to the largest city. Through our partnership in the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre we are proud to help the Town of Smoky Lake and Smoky Lake County, drive local climate action projects that help build strong and resilient Alberta communities.“
Cathy Heron, President, Alberta Municipalities
“At ATCO, we are enabling and accelerating the clean energy transition by providing communities and community partners with sustainable, reliable energy solutions. Working with Indigenous communities in a meaningful way is something we value, and we take our commitment to it very seriously. Together with the Métis Nation of Alberta, we are fostering community ownership and self-sustaining economic development through job creation, investment in infrastructure, and revenue from the sale of clean power.”
Melanie Bayley, President, ATCO Electric
About the MNA
The MNA was established in 1928 to advance the interests of Alberta Métis based on Métis rights, including, the right to self-determination and self-government. The MNA is governed by a democratically elected Provincial Council, comprised of a Provincial President and Vice President and six regional Presidents and Vice Presidents. The MNA maintains the only province-wide, objectively verifiable and federally recognized registry of Métis Nation citizens living within Alberta. In June 2019, the MNA and the Government of Canada signed the Métis Government Recognition and Self-Government Agreement, which recognizes the Métis Nation within Alberta’s inherent right to self-government.
About Métis Crossing
Métis Crossing is a major initiative of the Métis Nation of Alberta. It is the premier destination for Alberta Métis cultural interpretation, education, gatherings, and business development. Our 688 acres site is designed to engage and excite visitors. Our programming encourages active participation of visitors in activities promoting an appreciation of our people, customs, and celebrations.
For more information:
Director, Communications & Citizen Engagement
Senior Advisor, Marketing & Communications
587 215 7125