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NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release
2012ARR0006-000517

April 24, 2012

Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation

 

 

Fund creates First Nations clean energy opportunities

 

VICTORIA – A small storage, run-of-river hydro facility that will create economic opportunities and help a coastal First Nation get off diesel is one of 11 new projects supported by B.C.’s First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund (FNCEBF).

 

In the third round of funding from the FNCEBF, $610,000 will go to 11 First Nations communities across B.C. In the past year, B.C. has supported 41 projects in communities around the province, ranging from job training, joint ventures with industry and exploring ways for Aboriginal communities to participate in clean and renewable energy opportunities.

 

By providing funding for equity and capacity-building and feasibility/development projects, the fund helps to generate jobs for families and provide opportunities that benefit First Nations and non-First Nation communities alike, as well as building economic independence for First Nations.

 

For the Gitga’at First Nation, equity funding of $250,000 will support construction and operation of hydroelectric works that will virtually replace diesel power with clean and reliable power and create economic opportunities for the community by selling the power to BC Hydro for resale to the community of Hartley Bay.

 

Four communities will receive $30,000 each for community energy planning, to study their current energy sources and consumption, and assess clean energy alternatives for use in the future. Six communities will receive $40,000 each for feasibility studies and development work across a range of projects, including a wind power project that would be the first wind farm in B.C. owned and operated by First Nations.

 

The First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund was created in 2010 to support First Nations and new power projects. B.C. contributed an initial $5 million. A percentage of land and water rentals generated by eligible projects will be returned to the fund with the goal of the fund being completely self-revenue generating in the future.


 

Quotes:

 

Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, Mary Polak –

 

“The First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund continues to attract applicants from all corners of B.C. The range of projects being supported will bring tangible benefits to First Nation families and surrounding communities, and I look forward to seeing these First Nations lead the way in clean energy economic development opportunities that will benefit all British Columbians.”

 

Chief Arnold Clifton, Gitga'at First Nation –

 

“Hartley Bay has been working to develop a clean energy solution for our community for many years in keeping with traditional and cultural practices of caring for the environment. The First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund has been supportive of this initiative since the inception of the fund. The equity contribution represents about one per cent of our projected costs. The Gitga’at see this as another step in reaching our goal of developing a clean energy solution for the community and thanks the Province for their support.”

 

Chief James Delorme, Klahoose First Nation –

 

“The Klahoose First Nation is very pleased to be a successful applicant to the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund. The commitment by the B.C. government to First Nations business puts Klahoose on the map for a successful green energy project. The economic boost to our community through this business support is well-received and will assist our people immensely.”

 

 

Quick Facts:

 

·         To date, the fund has provided $1.97 million to 41 Aboriginal communities in B.C. to support First Nations participation in the clean energy sector.

 

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

o   Revenue-sharing from eligible clean energy projects based on revenues derived from water rentals and land rents.

o   Equity funding of up to $500,000 for First Nations to invest in clean energy projects and help communities attract further investment.

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

 


 

 

Learn More:

 

For more information about the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund and how to apply, please call toll-free 1 800 880 1022 or visit http://www.gov.bc.ca/arr/economic/fncebf.html

 

 

A backgrounder follows, detailing the 11 projects receiving funding.

 

 

Contact:

 

Maria Wilkie

Communications Director

Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation

250 953-3211

 

 

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

 

 


BACKGROUNDER

For Immediate Release
2012ARR0006-000517

April 24, 2012

Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation

 

 

 

 

First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund – third round of funding

 

Gitga’at First Nation (Hartley Bay)

Funding: $250,000 Equity funding

Purpose: To construct and operate a 948-kilowatt small storage, run-of river hydroelectric facility in the Gabion River Watershed in Hartley Bay, which will enable the community to move away from diesel power and allow them to sell the produced power to BC Hydro for resale to the community of Hartley Bay. The planned facility will produce an estimated 2.1 gigawatts per year, replacing, on average, up to 2,100 tonnes of green house gases per year that are currently generated by diesel.

 

Gitxsan Energy Inc. (Hazelton)

Funding: $30,000 for Community Energy Planning capacity funding

Purpose: Build on existing work to support a regional energy planning study that will incorporate a development concept of a 30 MW biomass-to-electricity project.

 

Shackan Indian Band (Merritt)

Funding: $30,000 for Community Energy Planning capacity funding

Purpose: To support community economic development opportunities, including completing a comprehensive feasibility analysis on Shackan or Skuhun Creak, developing micro-hydropower financing and future planning strategies and supporting the community’s sustainability energy vision and other clean energy opportunities.

 

Tobacco Plains Indian Band (Grasmere)

Funding: $30,000 for Community Energy Planning capacity funding

Purpose: To support a comprehensive assessment of various clean energy development opportunities with the aim of creating a clean energy development strategy. Potential projects include a small scale run-of-river hydropower, wind energy, a large-scale solar photovoltaic initiative on-reserve and an on-reserve bio-energy project.

 

Nuxalk Nation (Bella Coola)

Funding: $30,000 for Community Energy Planning capacity funding

Purpose: Creation of a community energy plan to support economic development and energy conservation.

 

Treaty 8 Tribal Council (Fort St. John)

Funding: $40,000 for Feasibility/Project Development capacity building

Purpose: Determine the engineering, preliminary construction and economic feasibility of moving the Mt. Lavitah Wind Farm project to the next phase.

 

If the project proceeds, it would be the first wind farm in B.C. owned and operated by First Nations and would provide tangible economic benefits to the First Nations through a long-term, lower-risk power purchasing agreement with BC Hydro.

 

Huu-ay-aht Development Corp. (Bamfield)

Funding: $40,000 for Feasibility/Project Development capacity building

Purpose: Survey a potential power-house site on the Sarita River to support an engineering review, carry out the terrestrial ecosystems assessment portion of the environmental impact assessment and complete preliminary engineering design of the project.

 

Coastal First Nations (North and Central Coast and Haida Gwaii)

Funding: $40,000 for Feasibility/Project Development capacity building

Purpose: Includes a feasibility study of a model that would allow significant volumes of renewable electricity to supply the rapidly developing LNG sector. This project is part of a larger initiative with B.C. under the Reconciliation Protocol Agreement to implement a Clean Energy Action Plan to advance clean energy development in the territories and deliver benefits to the Coastal First Nations.

 

Lower Nicola Indian Band (Merritt)

Funding: $40,000 for Feasibility/Project Development capacity funding

Purpose: Support the First Nation’s involvement in a 36 megawatt biomass fuelled power generation facility next to the Tolko sawmill in Merritt. The project was awarded an Energy Purchase Agreement under the BC Hydro Phase II Bio-energy call and is moving towards completion. These resources will help the First Nation to do the business planning needed to secure financial and employment benefits for the community.

 

Klahoose First Nation (Squirrel Cove)

Funding: $40,000 for Feasibility/Development capacity building

Purpose: To engage with and continue their previous positive relationship with a proponent to reach an impact benefits agreement that would ensure that the First Nation realizes its full potential for economic development, investment and business opportunities arising from two run of river projects.

 

Cheslatta Carrier Nation (Burns Lake)

Funding: $40,000 for Feasibility/Development capacity building

Purpose: Assist in the development of a feasibility study to design, construct and operate the Kenny Dam Water Release Facility, which would include a 44 megawatt hydroelectric facility.

 

 

Contact:

 

Maria Wilkie

Communications Director

Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation

250 953-3211

 

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