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First Nations study ways to reduce diesel use

by pmnationtalk on December 16, 2014807 Views

December 15, 2014

PORT HARDY/FORT FRASER – Two First Nations communities will receive a total of $60,000 for studies of renewable energy projects with the potential to reduce the use of diesel fuel in their communities.

The Wuikinuxv Nation near Port Hardy will receive $40,000 from B.C.’s First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund to examine ways of integrating renewable energy resources into the community’s existing power supply. To reduce diesel use and carbon emissions, a run-of-river hydroelectric project is proposed for the Nickaqueet River.

The project would supply clean, sustainable energy to the remote, off-grid community. As planned, design and permitting would be scheduled for completion in 2015 with construction projected to begin in 2016.

The Nadleh Whut’en First Nation near Fort Fraser is also seeking to reduce the use of diesel-generated power. The First Nation will receive $20,000 for a feasibility study of possible solar power use in a cultural camp currently using diesel.  The camp is operating for seven months of the year and the First Nation wants the camp to move to year-round operation. The feasibility study will provide a full design, cost estimate and business case for the installation of solar power as an alternate source of energy for the camp.


John Rustad, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation –

“Throughout B.C., First Nations are actively pursuing clean, sustainable energy options that have the potential to benefit their communities by reducing reliance on diesel power, lowering carbon emissions and providing new sources of power. In doing so, these First Nations are also helping to further establish B.C. as a leader in clean energy development.”

Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy and Mines –

“I am hopeful the federal government will renew their commitment to fund this important type of off-grid opportunity to get off diesel fuel. It is important to the First Nations communities and to all British Columbians.”

Chief Rose Hackett, Wuikinuxv Nation –

“Diesel generators damage the atmosphere through the emission of greenhouse gases. They are also the single worst cause of financial distress in Wuikinuxv, as we aren’t funded for the full cost of their fuel and maintenance. This forces us to divert funds for community programs and services to pay for diesel. We look forward to dramatically reducing energy costs by switching to a long-term source of clean, affordable energy that won’t damage the environment.”

Chief Martin Louie, Nadleh Whut’en First Nation –

“This study will help us explore ways of reducing the use of diesel and replacing it with clean energy. Our goal is to reduce the operating costs of diesel with a new and sustainable source of power for our community.”

Paul Kariya, Clean Energy BC –

“B.C. First Nations are doing everything they can to be leaders in clean energy, and in reducing their greenhouse gas emissions and air-shed footprint. Minister Rustad and the B.C. government are to be commended for providing support.”

Quick Facts:

  • The First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund is designed to increase First Nations participation in the clean energy sector and helps to create jobs and new economic opportunities for First Nations throughout B.C.
  • Since 2011, more than 90 Aboriginal communities have benefited from more than $5.7 million in capacity and equity funding provided by the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund. The fund supports wind energy, biomass, run-of-river hydroelectric power and clean energy planning.
  • The fund provides equity funding of up to $500,000 and 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.
  • The fund also allows First Nations with revenue-sharing agreements to receive a portion of water and land rents charged by the Province for new clean energy projects.
  • The clean energy industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in B.C., with more than 200 organizations, 68% of which were formed in the past decade.

Learn More:

First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund:

Wuikinuxv Nation:

Nadleh Whut’en First Nation:

Clean Energy BC:

A backgrounder follows.

Media Contact:
Lisa Leslie
Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and
250 213-7724



December 15, 2014

New funding for First Nations clean energy projects

This fall, the B.C. government is investing an additional $600,000 in clean energy projects benefiting First Nations communities. In this round of funding, the following projects are being supported:

Equity Investment:
Tahltan Central Council (near Telegraph Creek)
Funding Amount: $500,000
Project Name: Volcano Creek Hydroelectric Run-of-River Project

Funding will support an equity investment from the Tahltan Heritage Trust, on behalf of the Tahltan Central Council, into the Volcano Creek Hydroelectric run-of-river project. Volcano Creek is a 16-megawatt project built by AltgaGas Corporation.

Capacity Funding:
Wuikinuxv Nation (near Port Hardy)
Funding Amount: $40,000
Project Name:  Wuikinuxv Nation Renewable Energy Project – Feasibility Study

The purpose of this project is to integrate renewable energy resources into the existing power system and displace much of the diesel fuel use in this community. This funding will be provided to complete the feasibility study underway to determine if the proposed run-of-river hydroelectric project is a viable renewable energy resource.

Penticton Indian Band (near Penticton)
Funding Amount: $40,000
Project Name:  Penticton Indian Band Hydroelectric and Small Wind Power Assessment – Feasibility Study

This feasibility study is to determine if the two projects selected by the Penticton Indian Band are both financially viable and technically possible. This study will also help to build the energy capacity within the community by supporting the band in completing this work with the assistance of a consulting engineering firm.

Nadleh Whut’en First Nation (near Fort Fraser)
Funding Amount: $19,960
Project Name:  Hybrid Energy System – Feasibility Study

The Nadleh Whut’en First Nation own and operate a Cultural Camp at Ormonde Kale. This camp currently operates for seven months of the year and the electricity for the camp is provided by a diesel generator. The First Nation would like to complete a business case of installing a hybrid energy system that would reduce the cost of diesel, reduce the impact of the diesel generation, and allow the community to increase camp operations to year round.

Beecher Bay First Nation (near Sooke)
Funding Amount: $40,000
Project Name: Ocean Thermal Energy Feasibility and Planning Study – Spirit Bay

The ocean thermal feasibility study is to determine if it would be a viable source of heat for a new town (600 to 800 single-family homes and commercial centre) currently under development in an economic development zone on the Beecher Bay Indian Reserve. The premise of the town’s development is to support economic opportunities while incorporating sustainability into the design and execution of the required infrastructure.

Media Contact:
Lisa Leslie
Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and
250 213-7724

Connect with the Province of B.C. at:


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