VICTORIA, B.C. – Fourteen First Nations pursued cleaner energy in 2018 with support from the provincial government.
West Moberly First Nations received $150,000 for the construction of a biomass conversion project to make the Twin Sister Native Plant Nursery more energy efficient.
The 14 Indigenous-driven projects were supported by the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund (FNCEBF), with $2.49 million invested in run-of-river hydropower, solar farms, energy-efficiency plans and numerous feasibility studies.
The fund, which focuses on providing support and access for remote communities, reducing reliance on diesel generators and remote electrification, help reduce dependence on fossil fuels and support the transition to clean energy for communities throughout the province.
In Budget 2019, CleanBC investments include $18 million to work with Indigenous and remote communities to move to cleaner energy sources. These initiatives are in addition to the projects already announced.
Applications for the next First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund intake will be accepted until the end of May 2019.
“Since having our Aboriginal title recognized, we have been looking for diverse opportunities within our territory. The development and operation of this solar farm is not only useful for the area, but also brings employment and training to our Nation. As a Nation, we have always said that to do business with us, you need to come through our doors and sit at the table in a meaningful way. The solar farm is a great example of that.” Chief Joe Alphonse, Tsilhqot’in Tribal Chairman
“First Nations are moving forward with greener alternatives, such as solar, in meeting their energy needs. This work is an important part of our CleanBC strategy and supports self-determination. All of us in every area of the province have an important part to play in putting B.C. on a path that powers our future with clean, renewable energy and reduces air pollution.” Scott Fraser, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation