Clean, green energy projects are part of economic strategies being developed by two First Nations on northern Vancouver Island.
The Quatsino First Nation, near Coal Harbour, will receive $30,000 through the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund to examine the feasibility of a five megawatt run-of-river hydroelectric project. The proposed hydro project would be located within the First Nation’s traditional territory. The study will determine the technical viability of the project and assess environmental factors such as impacts on fish habitat and potential species at risk.
If the project proceeds, next steps include formation of a joint venture partnership with an industry proponent to develop the clean energy resource and tie in to an existing power line. The proposed facility would provide a new revenue stream for the First Nation from the sale of electricity to BC Hydro.
Elsewhere, the Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k’tles7et’h’ First Nation (pron: kai-you-cut / sheh-kluh-szet), near Kyuquot, will receive $40,000 through the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund. The monies will support a feasibility study of a proposed one megawatt run-of-river hydroelectric project. The study will include an examination of water flows, as well as an assessment of commercial, physical, and biological feasibility.
Funding for these projects 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 –
“Through the development of sustainable clean energy resources, these projects have the potential to provide significant and long-lasting benefits to both the First Nations and other Vancouver Island residents.”
Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy and Mines –
“These funding investments by the B.C. government are examples of our commitment to promote greater First Nations participation in B.C.’s growing clean energy sector.”
- 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 also entered into 36 clean energy revenue sharing agreements with 30 First Nations, including ten new revenue sharing agreements this spring.
- The fund supports First Nations participation in ocean and wind energy, biomass, 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.
- B.C.’s clean energy technology industry includes more than 200 organizations, 68% of which were formed in the past decade.
For more information on the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund, visit: www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/topic.page?id=1178ADF080E24FDD931DA6FB88D67607
Quatsino First Nation: http://quatsinofn.com/
Ka:’yu’k’t’h’/Che: First Nation: www.maanulth.ca/about_fn_kyuquot_checlesaht.asp
Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation