Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Number of Regional First Nations to share in Clean Energy Funding program

A number of First Nations across the North Coast, Central Coast and on Haida Gwaii will be sharing in  7.1 million dollars towards a Provincial funding program to advance clean energy projects.

The initiative which is part of the Clean BC initiative is called the Community Energy Diesel Reduction Program, and strives to replace Diesel generation in the communities with cleaner energy options,

The announcement from Monday from Josie Osborne, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation, provides a bit of background to the work ahead. 

“Our CleanBC goal is to reduce diesel consumption for power generation in remote communities by 80% by 2030. By building partnerships and creating opportunities with Indigenous communities and businesses, we can help people living in B.C.’s hardest-to-reach communities save money, become less dependent on fossil fuels and benefit from cleaner air and water.”

Among one high profile project is the allocation of $2 million to develop and build a two-megawatt solar farm on Haida Gwaii's northern grid that will include battery storage.

Another project of note is found at Hartley Bay, which will receive funding for Funding for pre-construction and construction activities for a run-of-lake 948-kilowatt hydroelectric generation facility. 

 That project aims to reduce 95% of diesel usage for electricity generation.  

“The Clean BC-CEDR program is a significant improvement in government support for remote First Nations communities. Today, it is apparent that senior governments are serious about diesel reduction for electricity generation. They have structured their programs with staff to assist in preparing application support materials, completing applications and navigating multiple funding programs across governments and departments. Increasing our capacity and the moral support is a game changer.” -- David Benton, clean-energy lead, Gitga’at First Nation of Hartley Bay

With half of the communities in theNorth Coast constituency,  MLA Jennifer Rice made note of the funding for six of the twelve with an update to her social media stream on Tuesday.

The full list of all twelve successful community projects and what they will bring to First Nation communities can be reviewed below.

More notes from the Legislature can be explored here.

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