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QUEST Canada adapts renewable energy program for remote Indigenous communities

June 28, 2023 | By Anthony Capkun

June 28, 2023 – The Government of Canada is providing $650,000 in funding for QUEST Canada to evolve and adapt its Accelerating Implementation of Renewable Energy (AIRE) for Indigenous Communities project to expand knowledge of local energy systems, and develop pathways to accelerate clean energy opportunities.

The adapted project—AIRE for Indigenous Communities—will be deployed over three years with three rural Indigenous communities: Pelican Narrows and Southend in Northern Saskatchewan (governed by the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation), and Frog Lake First Nation in Alberta.

“Ensuring energy security in remote and rural Indigenous communities is imperative to reconciliation and enhanced self-sufficiency, as well as improved overall health and well-being,” said QUEST Canada’s Tonja Leach, executive director. “QUEST Canada’s AIRE for Indigenous Communities project seeks to learn from and work with Indigenous communities to accelerate renewable energy projects to help Canada achieve its net-zero targets, equitably.”

QUEST Canada will provide training and support for the participating communities in building capacity to plan and implement land-based renewable energy initiatives.

Along with its partners, QUEST Canada also contributed to the project, bringing the total investment to $1,154,000.

Federal funding for this project is provided through Natural Resources Canada’s Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities program—a $453-million program that strives to reduce reliance on diesel in rural and remote communities by deploying and demonstrating renewable energy projects, encouraging energy efficiency and building local skills and capacity.

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