Support for First Nation and Métis Communities in Green Energy Development
September 03, 2009
McGuinty Government Initiatives Will Create Green Jobs, Spur Economic Development
Ontario is launching two new programs for First Nations and Métis communities interested in developing and owning renewable energy facilities, such as wind, solar and hydroelectric. These initiatives will create jobs and stimulate economic development as well as offer a guaranteed and sustained long term revenue stream.Under the $250 million Aboriginal Loan Guarantee Program, Aboriginal communities will be eligible for loan guarantees that will allow them to take on equity participation in renewable generation and transmission projects. The program will facilitate Aboriginal ownership in energy projects by providing loan guarantees for up to 75 per cent of an Aboriginal corporation’s equity in an eligible project.
Ontario is also launching an Aboriginal Energy Partnerships Program to maximize participation in renewable energy projects. This initiative will build capacity and participation by providing funds for community energy plans, fund for feasibility studies, technical research and developing business cases and create an Aboriginal Renewable Energy Network.
Aboriginal communities will also be eligible, under certain conditions, for price incentives as part of the Feed-in Tariff program.
Together, these initiatives will assist First Nation and Métis communities to unlock vast renewable energy resources by providing the knowledge and financial support to begin building economically viable projects. Providing economic opportunities through green energy development is a cornerstone of Ontario’s Green Energy Act. It also establishes Ontario’s place as North America’s Renewable Energy leader, with over 50,000 jobs expected in the next three years as projects get underway.
Over the next several weeks, the Ontario government will take ten important steps to bring the Green Energy Act to life. These milestones will help transition the province to electricity generated from green energy, which will create jobs and open investment opportunities in Ontario’s green economy. These two Aboriginal programs are steps two and three.
“Ontario is committed to a Green energy future, one in which all of us can take part. Green energy can create long-term revenues and employment opportunities for First Nation and Métis communities. Working together, Aboriginal communities, with other investors and the government can unleash valuable renewable energy resources. ”
– George Smitherman, Deputy Premier and Minister of Energy and Infrastructure
“The Chippewas of Georgina Island look forward to completing the development of the Pukwis Wind Farm with the support of these initiatives. The Loan Guarantee Program demonstrates Ontario’s commitment to First Nation partnerships in green energy projects. Our 20 MW Wind Farm will deliver clean energy to the grid and provide a sustainable revenue source for our community – promoting jobs and opportunities for our members.”
– Chief Donna Big Canoe, Chippewas of Georgina Island
“By providing loan guarantees and facilitating viable partnerships for Green Energy projects, the province is supporting the kind of economic development within Métis communities that provides a solid foundation on which to build a self-reliant nation that personifies the values of conservation and respect for the land that are the hallmarks of Métis tradition and culture.”
– Gary Lipiniski, President, Métis Nation of Ontario
“This will give Aboriginal communities support and resources to participate in, and benefit from, new renewable energy projects. The economic opportunities will help improve the socio-economic conditions of Aboriginal people in Ontario.”
– Brad Duguid, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs
Ontario has already brought approximately 1,000 megawatts of new renewable energy on-line since October 2003.
The $250 million Aboriginal Loan Guarantee Program is part to the 2009 Ontario budget.
A number of Aboriginal partnerships in renewable energy development are now in place or are in planning stages.
Lac Seul First Nation has 25 per cent ownership in a new hydroelectric plant built by OPG.
> Creating Jobs and Promoting Economic Sustainability for Aboriginal People with the Aboriginal Loan Guarantee Program
> Aboriginal Energy Partnerships Program: Creating Green Energy Opportunities for First Nation and Métis Communities
Amy Tang, Minister’s Office, 416-327-6747
Eric Pelletier, Communications Branch 416-325-1810