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Vancouver Island First Nations receive funds to analyze hydro projects


July 28, 2015 – Two British Columbia First Nations on northern Vancouver Island are making plans for future hydro projects thanks to boosts from the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund.

The Quatsino First Nation, near Coal Harbour, will receive $30,000 to examine the feasibility of a 5MW run-of-river hydro project, 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.

Additionally, 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 to support a feasibility study of a proposed 1MW run-of-river hydro project. The study will include an examination of water flows, as well as an assessment of commercial, physical, and biological feasibility.

“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,” said John Rustad, B.C.’s minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation.