Energy & Power
Fisher River Cree Nation unveils Manitoba’s biggest solar farm
By Anthony Capkun
August 19, 2020 – Fisher River Cree Nation has launched Manitoba’s biggest solar project, reports Bullfrog Power Inc., adding the 1-MW facility has almost 3000 solar panels and was built entirely by Indigenous employees.
“This solar project is a source of empowerment and pride for our community,” said Fisher River Cree Nation Chief David Crate. “In addition to generating revenue and training local workers in solar installation, we’re also starting a conversation about large-scale green energy.”
The Fisher River community funded the nearly $2.4-million project with its own money, along with $1 million in support from Western Economic Diversification Canada. Fisher River Cree Nation also thanks its partners W Dusk Energy, Bullfrog Power, Solvest and the Royal Bank of Canada.
W Dusk Energy Group Inc.—an Indigenous-owned renewable energy firm—helped design and manage the Fisher River solar project. Owner David Isaac, who is Mi’kmaw, sees renewable energy as an important priority for First Nations.
“We’re trying to create a new standard for our communities,” Isaac said. “People are more enlightened about self-sufficiency and decentralized energy, and Fisher River is right at the leading edge of that.” Isaac also noted that the Fisher River solar farm could become a blueprint for other First Nations looking to generate renewable power.
“Manitoba Hydro is pleased to support Fisher River Cree Nation in this project,” said Jeffrey Betker, Manitoba Hydro. “The project helps diversify Manitoba Hydro’s renewable energy supply, and as the interest in solar-generated energy is growing, it only makes sense Manitoba Hydro partnered with Fisher River Cree Nation to learn more about how utility-scale solar farms can add value to our system and our customers.”
Electricity from the Fisher River solar project is being injected into Manitoba Hydro’s grid, and the project is a source of green electricity for Bullfrog Power. RBC, meantime, will purchase the electricity that Bullfrog Power sources from the Fisher River solar farm.