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NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release
2011PREM0090-000893

July 20, 2011

Office of the Premier
Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation

 

 

Fund aids jobs, opportunities in First Nations communities

 

VICTORIA – People in 16 Aboriginal communities around the province will benefit from the first round of funding from the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund, Premier Christy Clark announced today.

 

“One of the commitments I’ve made as Premier is to ensure that Aboriginal communities are provided with assistance to participate in clean and renewable energy opportunities. This first round of funding from the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund will do exactly that,” said Premier Clark. “B.C.’s clean energy advantage is creating jobs and economic opportunities for families across the province and First Nations have a key role to play.”

 

Funding of $850,000 will support 16 clean energy projects, including hydro, biomass and windpower. The funding will be used for a range of activities from business planning and project management for First Nation communities looking to get off diesel power to developing a sustainable commercial and industrial park in the Okanagan.

 

“When we started accepting applications to the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund in April, the response showed an incredible amount of enthusiasm and innovation,” said Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Minister Mary Polak. “The funding for this first successful round of applicants will bring new opportunities to First Nations communities.”

 

Applications are now being accepted for the second round of funding, due later this year.

 

The First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund was created to support First Nations and new power projects, with an initial contribution of $5 million from the Province. The fund is expected to grow, with further investments based on revenues the government receives from power projects as the clean energy industry grows.

 

“The First Nations Clean Energy Business fund contribution enables our Senkulmen Business Park to complete our 'green' program,” said Chief Clarence Louie of the Osoyoos Indian Band. “This business park will boost our area economy, while respecting the environment. For us, this is about creating new jobs and business opportunities that will benefit generations to come. I commend the B.C. government for this progressive program.”


 

 

The First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund promotes increased First Nation participation in the clean energy sector through:

 

·         Revenue-sharing from eligible clean energy projects.

·         Equity funding of up to $500,000 for First Nations to invest in clean energy projects.

·         Capacity development funding of up to $50,000, to support First Nations with feasibility studies or engagement with private sector proponents of clean energy projects.

 

For more information about the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund and the related application process, please visit: http://www.gov.bc.ca/arr/economic/fncebf.html

or call toll-free 1 800 880-1022

 

A backgrounder follows, detailing the 16 projects receiving funding.

 

 

Contacts:

 

Chris Olsen

Press Secretary

Office of the Premier

604 220-1640

 

Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation

Maria Wilkie

Communications Director

250 953-3211

 

 

Connect with the Province of B.C. at: www.gov.bc.ca/connect

 

 

 


 

BACKGROUNDER

For Immediate Release
2011PREM0090-000893

July 20, 2011

Office of the Premier
Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation

 

 

 

First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund – First round of funding

 

Dease River (near Dease Lake)

Funding amount: $40,000 (capacity funding)

Purpose: Support development of a 1MW Micro-Hydro System to power the community of Good Hope Lake and outlying non-Aboriginal communities. The funding will also help build community based micro-hydro project management expertise.

 

Adams Lake (near Kamloops)

Funding amount: $40,000 (capacity funding)

Purpose: Develop a business plan to create an irrigation line micro-hydro system.

 

Hartley Bay (near Kitimat)

Funding amount: $40,000 (capacity funding)

Purpose: Project management with the final goal of installing a 900kw micro-hydro system to reduce the community’s reliance on diesel power.

 

Kwadacha (north of Prince George)

Funding amount: $40,000 (capacity funding)

Purpose: Develop the Kwadacha Community Biomass Project to meet the community's power needs and to replace the existing diesel power supply.

 

Toquaht (near Ucluelet)

Funding amount: $40,000 (capacity funding)

Purpose:  Augment work toward the Lower Lucky Creek hydro electric project which is one of three projects currently being explored by the Toquaht and may serve as the anchor project in a possible cluster of integrated projects within Barkley Sound.

 

Tla-o-qui-aht (near Tofino)

Funding amount: $40,000 (capacity funding)

Purpose: Create a business plan for the Winchie-Haa-ak-suuk Creeks ROR Hydro Project.

 

Lower Similkameen Indian Band (near Osoyoos)

Funding amount: $40,000 (capacity funding)

Purpose: Develop a business case for a small-scale wind power generation on Lower Similkameen Indian Band reserve lands.

 

St Mary's Indian Band (near Cranbrook)

Funding amount: $40,000 (capacity funding)

Purpose: To assess biomass potential in the forests of south-eastern BC and the economic feasibility of converting that biomass to bioenergy.

 

Gitsegukla (near Hazelton)

Funding amount: $40,000 (capacity funding)

Purpose of funding: Assist in the development of renewable energy, power-to-grid resources and reduce reliance on imported energy from non-renewable resources.

 

Kanaka Bar (near Lytton)

Funding amount: $40,000 (capacity funding)

Purpose: Support research to assist in the ultimate goal of having a relationship with the construction and operation of the Kwoiek Creek Hydroelectric Project.

 

Kwantlen (near Fort Langley)

Funding amount: $40,000 (capacity funding)

Purpose: Determine the viability of an Independent Power Project within the territory.

 

Ulkatcho (near Prince George)

Funding amount: $40,000 (capacity funding)

Purpose:  Develop a feasibility study for a 5MW Community based Biomass Project.

 

Xaxli'p (near Lillooet)

Funding amount: $40,000 (capacity funding)

Purpose: Second phase of a clean energy feasibility study that will investigate the opportunities to develop a renewable energy project within the community.

 

Canoe Creek Indian Band (near Williams Lake)

Funding amount: $40,000 (capacity funding)

Purpose: To assess and enable the exploration of clean energy projects.

 

Ditidaht (near Bamfield)

Funding amount: $40,000 (capacity funding)

Purpose: Determine the geotechnical feasibility of the Little Nitnat River Hydropower Project and complete the terrestrial ecosystem impact section of the environmental impact assessment.

 

Osoyoos Indian Band

Funding amount: $250,000 (equity funding)

Purpose: To complete the construction of the Senkulmen Business Park, a GeoExchange District Energy an environmentally sustainable industrial and commercial park development.

 

Contacts:

 

Chris Olsen

Press Secretary

Office of the Premier

604 220-1640

 

Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation

Maria Wilkie

Communications Director

250 953-3211

 

 

Connect with the Province of B.C. at: www.gov.bc.ca/connect