Four northwest B.C. First Nations receive funding for clean energy projects
A totem pole outside the Kitselas First Nation administration office. (CFTK file picture).
The province has announced funding supports for 11 Indigenous-led clean energy projects in northern BC, including four in the Northwest.
The money comes from the province's First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund.
"We're working to support First Nations in developing clean-energy alternatives, especially in remote communities," said Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation Minister Murray Rankin.
"The First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund continues to be a great resource to strengthen Indigenous participation in the clean-energy sector and support energy-efficient, resilient communities in their transition to a low-carbon future."
On Haida Gwaii, the Skidegate Band Council is receiving $400,000 in funding towards a solar-farm project that it's developing.
Likewise, the Old Massett Village council will also receive $400,000 towards a biomass hot water heating system for the Northern Haida Gwaii Hospital and Health Centre.
Heavy-emitting diesel fuel powers much of Haida Gwaii, and the province says these two projects will help the region shift away from fossil fuels towards renewable energy.
"Our district heat project is an awesome example of an alternative to fossil-fuelled heating," said Kevin Brown, climate action co-ordinator for Old Massett Village Council.
"Developing a local fibre fuel from waste wood fuels this business model."
On the mainland, the Kitselas First Nation is getting $500,000 for Kitselas Geothermal Inc.
That project will replace fossil fuels used for industrial heating with geothermal resources in the Fuel for Reconciliation project.
"Kitselas Geothermal Inc. has been developing this project since 2014 and has injected millions of dollars into the economy in and around our traditional territory near Terrace. The funding will be a tremendous help in progressing the project's 2022 field season," said Kitselas Geothermal Inc. Chair David Try.
Further east, the Wet'suwet'en Nation will receive $149,950 for community solar installation and related training.