Energy & Power
B.C. First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund sees $2.1 million boost
By Renée Francoeur
February 3, 2017 – The Province of British Columbia says it is increasing funding for First Nations energy projects by about $2.1 million over three years and the money will be prioritized to help remote Aboriginal communities not connected to the BC Hydro grid end their reliance on diesel-powered generators.
The new funding will be administered under the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund, established in 2010.
Kwadacha Nation, a Fort Ware community 570 km north of Prince George, has past experience with the fund, the province notes, and was awarded $400,000 in equity funding to be put towards a combined heat-and-power bioenergy system intended to offset diesel generation.
“The First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund was instrumental in kick-starting the Kwadacha Nation’s Biomass Community Energy System and helping us move away from diesel generation for heat and power. We ran off diesel for too long and this project brings some much-needed infrastructure to our very remote community. It also created a few much-needed jobs and is a step closer to our vision of self-sustainability,” said Chief Donny Van Somer, Kwadacha Nation.
“It is a testament to the success of the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund that we are able to provide additional funding based on the actual revenue from eligible projects,” added John Rustad, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation. “This new funding can be used to help more Aboriginal communities reduce their greenhouse-gas emissions, while also becoming self-sufficient.”
The B.C. First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund provides equity funding up to $500,000 for clean-energy projects, up to $150,000 toward energy-efficiency projects (also known as demand-side management), and capacity funding up to $50,000.