Federal Government Announced New Investments for Indigenous Clean Energy in British Columbia

Federal Government Announced New Investments for Indigenous Clean Energy in British Columbia

In line with the Canadian government’s commitment to both the Strengthened Climate Plan and reconciliation, its federal government has been working on a project with First Nations, industry partners, and provincial governments. These efforts have culminated in the British Columbia Indigenous Clean Energy Initiative, frequently shortened to BCICEI.

On December 12th, 2022, there was an announcement regarding new investments totaling $10 million. The news came from Federal Minister of Indigenous Services Patty Hajdu, the Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada and Federal Minister of International Development Harjit S. Sajjan, and New Relationship Trust CEO Walter Schneider.

The initiative in question helps efforts to develop clean energy projects in various First Nations communities across the province of British Columbia. It guarantees ownership, local employment, business development benefits, and revenue sharing. These opportunities have been integrated into the process from the very beginning.

This project is a significant milestone for British Columbia and First Nations alike. It is incredibly valuable since it allows First Nations communities to be self-sufficient. It also supports communities that are off-grid, end-of-the-line, and remote by reducing their dependence on traditional methods of generating diesel power.

THE BCICEI was incepted in 2016. It has since enjoyed success and has supported projects resulting in a reduction of more than 400,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. To give you a better understanding of this figure, this would be the same amount of reduction when you remove more than 128,000 vehicles from the road for an entire year!

In the years since it was launched, the BCICEI has also supported projects that have since generated more than 100,000 MWh of clean energy per year. For reference, this is enough to supply power to more than 3,600 households.

The latest contribution of $10 million courtesy of the federal government comes from Indigenous Services Canada. This amount is going to be invested in initiatives, including the Hesquiaht Ahtaapq Creek Hydropower facility of the First Nations community in Hot Springs Cove on Vancouver Island. It is a solar farm and hydropower project owned and run by members of the First Nations community.

Its goal is to generate clean energy in an effort to minimize reliance on diesel. This project is slated to save the Hesquiaht First Nation community more than $600,000 in yearly maintenance and diesel costs.

We cannot wait to see what will come next for the BCICEI. As made clear by the hydropower facility, these investments have been going to good use. Let us keep our fingers crossed that there will be more clean energy projects that will directly benefit these First Nations communities.

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