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NRCan invests in nine BC community-led Indigenous clean energy projects

The Government of Canada is investing almost CA8.4 million in nine community-led clean energy projects with remote Indigenous communities across British Columbia (BC) to displace fossil fuels and advance reconciliation and self-determination.

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The Government of Canada is investing almost CA8.4 million in nine community-led clean energy projects with remote Indigenous communities across British Columbia (BC) to displace fossil fuels and advance reconciliation and self-determination.

Announced on April 16, 2021, by Terry Beech, Member of Parliament for Burnaby North—Seymour, on behalf of the Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr., Minister of Natural Resources, each project is unique, but all of them share the same goals: building a low-emissions energy future by supporting new economic opportunities and creating more energy-resilient communities by reducing their reliance on diesel or propane.

Indigenous communities are showcasing their innovative solutions for combatting climate change, all while creating local jobs and advancing self-determination. We congratulate them on their leadership in their energy transformation, said Terry Beech MP.

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) supports bioenergy projects that use forest fibre, a sustainably managed and renewable resource.

All nine projects were funded through Natural Resources Canada’s Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities program, a CA$220-million program to reduce reliance on diesel in rural and remote communities by deploying and demonstrating renewable energy projects, encouraging energy efficiency, and building local skills and capacity.

Gitxsan Energy Inc. is thankful for the contribution to the conversion of Gitksan Wet’suwet’en Education Society (GWES) College to Bioheat. This winter, we were able to start collecting and analyzing the impacts of this project. GWES was consuming up to 1600L/day of propane and with the bioheat boilers, it is using 45L/day; 3 percent of the propane. Pellets and maintenance are provided by Gitxsan Energy Inc., providing 2.5 full-time employees with stable employment, said Kelsey Harmse Chief Administrative Officer, Gitxsan Energy.

The program is part of the government’s Investing in Canada infrastructure plan, a more than CA$180-billion investment in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade, and transportation routes, and Canada’s rural and northern communities.

The Lhoosk’uz Dene (Klukus) Nation has been engaged with FPInnovations since we were introduced to the combined heat and power (CHP) technology in 2018. Our off-grid community is sited approximately 190 kilometres west of Quesnel and is powered by diesel generators. Our territory was heavily impacted by the pine beetle, and the dead pine is required fuel to be chipped, dried, and fed into the CHP unit to produce the power supply for the community. We will be creating a green power supply while removing the biomass fire hazard surrounding the community, said Liliane Squinas, Chief, Lhoosk’uz Dene Nation.

Canada’s strengthened climate plan, A Healthy Environment, and a Healthy Economy ensure Canada is a world leader in clean power.

The Tsay Keh Dene Nation fully supports the construction and implementation of a first-class Biomass System, to replace 100 percent of the current diesel-generated power in the community. This project not only reduces environmental impacts but relocates high-end, sustainable jobs to our remote community, Johnny Pierre, Community Chief, Tsay Keh Dene Band.

Canada is investing an additional CA$300 million over five years to give rural, remote, and Indigenous communities currently reliant on fossil fuel the opportunity to be powered by clean, reliable energy by 2030.

With the support of Natural Resources Canada, while embracing innovative technology, Kwadacha Nation is creating a briquette-making operation to produce affordable biomass fuel made from residual sawdust that is a byproduct of the chipping operation feeding our biomass-fueled combined heat and power system. The sawdust will be compressed into briquettes suitable for use in residential woodstoves. The funding from Natural Resources Canada’s Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities Program will help our community turn a large amount of wood waste from a potential fire hazard into a valuable home heating resource and will provide economic development and employment opportunities for our members, said Darryl McCook Chief, Kwadacha First Nation.

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