Two coastal B.C. First Nations investing $25 million in renewable energy projects

To get off diesel power, two off-grid communities developing hydro power

Between two coastal First Nations in B.C., $25 million will be invested into renewable energy, to help reduce dependence on diesel-powered electricity.

The Dzawada’enuxw First Nation in Kingcome Inlet, and the Kitasoo/Xai’xais First Nation in Klemtu will both develop hydropower electricity sources for their communities.

The funding is a mix of the First Nations’ own investments, private investors, and provincial funds earmarked for renewable energy projects in off-grid communities. The provincial investment makes up $7.9 million, which is managed by Coast Funds, an Indigenous-led investment fund.

There are 11 off-grid First Nations’ communities along B.C.’s coast, which are mostly reliant on diesel for electricity. It has long been a goal of these communities to reduce diesel dependence, and the NDP government has committed to meet that goal by 2030 through a program they’re calling the Renewable Energy for Remote Communities. Money will be announced each year, and managed by Coast Funds, who will work with the 11 First Nations to develop renewable energy projects. This year the province invested $7.9 million, all of which is going towards these two projects.

Dzawada’enuxw plans to build a 350 kilowatt hydropower facility, starting next spring. The remote community, located on an inlet on the mainland east of Vancouver Island, has been dependant on diesel for its energy for more than 20 years.

Kitasoo/Xai’xais First Nation in Klemtu, on Swindle Island north of Bella Bella, will increase the capacity of the hydro dam they’ve operated for 40 years. More reliable electricity will help them transition away from fossil-fuel energy sources, as well as spur new investments in housing and economic development.

“This opportunity will provide security of power and cost savings for our community. As a result, we will be able to develop civil upgrades such as building a wastewater treatment plant, larger water treatment facility, a new community hall, and a new subdivision,” said Kitasoo/Xai’xais Chief Councillor Roxanne Robinson.

Reducing diesel dependency will not only bring energy costs down, but will reduce the risk of diesel spills as the fuel is transported along the coast.

RELATED: Diesel spill reported near mouth of Dinan Bay on Haida Gwaii

Do you have something to add to this story or something else we should report on? Email:
zoe.ducklow@blackpress.ca.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

energy sectorFirst Nations

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

From theatres to patios, Vancouver Island Symphony plays through the pandemic

A series of pop-up concerts are taking place in various locations from Saltair to Comox

Beloved Chemainus resident dies at 106

Dorothy Adair adored by the many people she met in the community in two short years

Sudden death leaves Shanahan family of five children without a father

GoFundMe campaign set up by wife Tiffany’s friend

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

‘Someone knows something’: a look into Vancouver Island missing persons with interactive map

There are more than three dozen people listed as missing throughout Vancouver Island

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

We’re asking you to lock arms with us, as we look to better days ahead

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep drainage pipe on Vancouver Island

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Windows broken, racist graffiti left on Okanagan home

Family says nothing like this has happened since they moved to Summerland in 1980s

Man arrested for allegedly pushing unsuspecting seniors, jumping on cars at Parksville mall

Cops arrest man after ‘aggressive incident’ at Wembley Mall in Parksville

B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’ charged with sex assault of teenage boys

The man, 75, is accused of assaulting teenage boys he met through Coquitlam-area churches

B.C.’s potential deficit $12.5 billion as spending spikes, taxes drop

Finance Minister Carole James gives COVID-19 outlook

Canadians torn on scaling back COVID-19 benefits to save money: poll

Of those surveyed, 78 per cent said they were worried about the size of the deficit

Most Read