Province funds Tsilhqot’in solar farm study
WILLIAMS LAKE – The Yunesit’in Government is starting a feasibility study, supported by the B.C. government and Tsilhqot’in National Government, focused on building a one megawatt solar farm near the River West Mill, east of Hanceville, B.C.
An earlier, pre-feasibility study determined the site is the best potential location for the proposed solar farm. The Yunesit’in Government will receive $40,000 through B.C.’s First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund to complete the full feasibility study.
The study will provide an accurate assessment of solar energy potential using commercial satellite data. It will also include site investigation, preliminary design, legal requirements, costing, and examination of requirements for connection to the BC Hydro grid through an existing transmission line near the proposed site.
If found to be commercially and technically viable and the project proceeds, the solar farm could provide a long-term source of revenue for the Tsilhqot’in Nation, as well as construction and maintenance jobs.
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 –
“This is an interesting project with the potential to provide significant long-term benefits to the First Nations community and a new source of clean, green, sustainable energy for B.C. residents.”
Russell Myers Ross, Chief of Yunesit’in Government –
“The Yunesit’in community is actively looking at energy planning and revenue streams that reflect our values. In this project, we foresee the potential of working with organizations such as Ecosmart to create options for energy development. I am personally intrigued at exploring and learning all the alternative ways of generating power, in an area challenged by its rural or remote setting. There is also a desire to align our objectives to diversify the economy, encourage small-scale activities with minimal impact, work with supportive partnerships, and promote respect for our governance and culture.”
Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy and Mines –
“The First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund is part of our commitment to promote greater First Nations participation in B.C.’s clean energy sector. To date, more than 100 Aboriginal communities have benefited from clean energy project funding provided through the Fund.”
Donna Barnett, MLA, Cariboo-Chilcotin –
“This study has the potential to grow into an important source of energy as well as providing revenue for the Yunesit’in community. It is an example of First Nations showing real leadership in pioneering the development of new clean energy resources.”
- The Yunesit’in Government is a member of The Tsilhqot’in National Government, which represents the Tsilhqot’in communities of Tl’etinqox, ?Esdilagh, Yunesit’in, Tsi Deldel, Tl’esqox and Xeni Gwet’in.
- 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 withfeasibility 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.
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