ALBERT BAY – Faced with high costs to generate power and heat, the Kwikwasut’inuxw Haxwa’mis First Nation is creating a community energy plan to find ways to improve energy efficiency and identify clean energy opportunities that could reduce reliance on fossil fuels.
The remote community is “off-grid” and not connected to the BC Hydro system. Its location greatly increases the cost of food and fuel and the community currently relies on propane gas for electricity and heat. The resulting high cost of powering the community’s infrastructure also limits opportunities for economic development.
The First Nation will receive $30,000 through the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund to create the new community energy plan. The plan will help the First Nation identify ways to improve the management of energy consumption and plan for future clean energy projects. The goal is to create a working strategy that will contribute to community well-being, reduce energy costs, support local and regional energy security and deliver environmental benefits that include a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
Funding for this project and other agreements is part of the Province’s commitment to reconciliation with First Nations. This includes ensuring more nations are involved in economic opportunities that make their communities and the rest of the province stronger.
John Rustad, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation –
“The remote location of this First Nation presents special challenges when it comes to energy use. But through the development of this plan, the community is working to improve the lives of all of its members and contribute to sustainable economic development.”
Robert Chamberlin, Chief Councilor, Kwikwasut’inuxw Haxwa’mis First Nation –
“We are happy to access the B.C. Government’s First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund. As an isolated community we are dependent on diesel generators for electricity. With further supports, I look forward to acting on the plan that will be developed and see our community become less dependent on fossil fuels and witness a switch to renewable energy options.”
- The Kwikwasut’inuxw Haxwa’mis First Nation has approximately 300 members.
- The main village site of the First Nation is located at Gwa’yas’dums (Gilford Island), which is located north of Vancouver Island between Tribune Channel and Knight Inlet. Its administrative office is in Alert Bay.
- The First Nations Clean Energy Business 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.
- Since 2011, more than 100 Aboriginal communities have benefited from more than $6.9 million in capacity and equity funding through the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund. To date, $3.9 million has been approved for First Nations equity investments for nine clean energy projects.
- B.C. has 36 clean energy revenue-sharing agreements with First Nations, including 10 new revenue-sharing agreements this spring.
- The fund supports First Nations participation in ocean and wind energy, biomass, solar, run-of river hydroelectric power, clean energy planning and related 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 technology 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.
Kwikwasut’inuxw Haxwa’mis First Nation: http://khfn.ca/
For more information on the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund, visit: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/topic.page?id=1178ADF080E24FDD931DA6FB88D67607
Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation