First Nations clean-energy projects funded on B.C.’s coast

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First Nations clean-energy projects funded on B.C.’s coast

by ahnationtalk on July 29, 202252 Views

July 28, 2022

SQUAMISH – Three First Nations communities on B.C.’s coast will increase their clean-energy sector participation in local projects, thanks to funding from the Province.

The Province is partnering with communities throughout B.C. to develop Indigenous-driven energy projects that align with CleanBC, the Province’s plan to build a cleaner future and a stronger, more resilient economy.

The First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund (FNCEBF) supports projects that promote energy efficiency and replace diesel dependency with renewable energy in areas such as solar, ocean thermal, wind energy, biomass, run-of-river hydroelectric power and energy-efficiency planning. A key goal of the fund is to increase the participation of Indigenous communities in B.C.’s clean-energy sector, ensuring that communities benefit from the economic opportunities created in their territories in the transition.

The Kitasoo Xai’Xais Nation received $150,000 in equity funding toward upgrading approximately 90 homes and non-residential buildings in Klemtu with heat pump systems over the next three years. Klemtu is a remote community on B.C.’s central coast that generates its own electricity via hydroelectricity from hydropower upgrades previously funded partially through the FNCEBF. The project’s first phase aims to complete 28 residential heat-pump installations for the community’s most vulnerable members. The project will create economic opportunities for the community and bring Kitasoo Xai’xais Nation closer to its zero emissions goal.

Two other First Nations communities located on B.C.’s coast also received funding in January 2022:

Squamish Nation — $50,000 capacity funding to develop a Squamish Nation Climate Action Strategy (SCS) during the next two years, which will establish commitments, actions and preparations the community and government can take in response to the climate crisis in the next 30 years. The strategy will consist of three streams: community consultation, education and action planning.
Lil’wat Capital Assets LP — $50,000 capacity funding for acquisition business planning as it intends to acquire a majority (51% or greater) ownership in a hydroelectric power facility located along the Sea to Sky Corridor.

In the past year, the fund has provided more than $3.8 million to support new capacity and equity projects in 27 First Nations communities throughout the province. The FNCEBF is accepting applications for the next intake until Sept. 30, 2022.

Learn More:

First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund:
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/natural-resource-stewardship/consulting-with-first-nations/first-nations-clean-energy-business-fund

Clean Energy BC: www.cleanenergybc.org/

Two backgrounders follow.

Contact:

Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation
Media Relations
250 896-4348

BACKGROUNDER 1

Facts about the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund

  • Since the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund (FNCEBF) began, more than 136 Indigenous communities have benefited from nearly $19 million in capacity and equity funding.
  • In fiscal 2021-22, the FNCEBF distributed more than $8 million to First Nations communities.
  • The FNCEBF provides:
    • as much as $500,000 in equity funding for clean-energy projects;
    • as much as $150,000 toward community energy projects, such as energy-efficiency, demand-side management and fuel-switching projects; and
    • as much as $50,000 in capacity funding for community energy planning, feasibility studies or engagement with private-sector clean-energy project proponents.
  • Funding is available to B.C. Indigenous communities with projects located in the province.
  • Currently, 46 First Nations benefit from 71 clean-energy revenue-sharing agreements with B.C. that are based on new net, incremental revenues to government, derived from water rentals and land rents.

Contact:

Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation
Media Relations
250 896-4348

BACKGROUNDER 2

What people are saying about First Nations clean-energy projects

Murray Rankin, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation –

“First Nations communities play a vital role in the clean-energy sector. Through the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund, we are investing in Indigenous-led business ventures that help build energy-efficient, resilient communities in our transition to a low-carbon future.”

Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation –

“Indigenous engagement in B.C.’s clean-energy sector supports our reconciliation efforts and accelerates our transition to a low-carbon economy. Partnerships between First Nations communities and industry strengthen our provincial economy, and achieve a diverse array of positive environmental, social and governance outcomes, while providing a sustainable path to achieving CleanBC’s climate targets.”

George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy –

“We’re working with First Nations to support increasing clean-energy options and stronger action on climate change through CleanBC and investments like these. We appreciate the leadership role many First Nations have taken to address climate change, and we’re committed to working in partnership to build a cleaner, better future for many more people.”

Bryn Armstrong, climate action co-ordinator, Kitasoo Xai’xais Stewardship Authority –

“The Kitasoo Xai’xais Nation will gain significant economic and ecological benefits from the installation of high-efficiency electric heat pumps. As a result of receiving funds from the FNCEBF, Klemtu is advancing its goal of becoming an emission-free community.“

Julia Stafford and Renata Rovelo, project managers, Climate Action Strategy for Squamish Nation –

“The goal of the Climate Action Strategy is to protect and strengthen the rights of the Squamish People, advance self-determination, protect quality of life and enhance the health and resilience of the community in the face of the climate crisis. Through this work, we hope to build community capacity on climate change and leverage grant funding to invest in community lead initiatives and consultation.”

Jennifer Rice, MLA for North Coast –

“With the mass adoption of heat pumps in Klemtu, the Kitasoo/Xai’xais First Nation is becoming a great example of climate change leadership on the Central Coast. This leadership will pave the way for this type of local clean energy adoption in other Northern and Indigenous communities.”

Bowinn Ma, MLA for North Vancouver-Lonsdale –

“I have had the opportunity to learn from the Squamish Nation about the vision for and development of their Climate Action Strategy, and I am extremely excited for the community-led initiatives that will come out of it. Providing these provincial grants to First Nations helps bolster our collective efforts on climate action while respecting Indigenous communities’ rights to self-determination.”

Contact:

Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation
Media Relations
250 896-4348

NT5

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