FORT NELSON, BC, Aug. 23, 2019 /CNW/ - The best solutions for bringing clean energy to rural and remote Indigenous communities come from the people who live there. That is why Canada is investing in these communities to build local skills and knowledge to reduce their use of fossil fuels through renewable energy development. These investments will help position rural and remote communities to thrive in the low-carbon economy.
The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources, today announced a $1-million investment for Deh Tai Limited Partnership, the economic development company of the Fort Nelson First Nation, to assess the resource potential of several renewable energy technologies. This assessment includes a potential geothermal electricity generation project, which involves the Saulteau First Nations' participation.
The project will focus on local energy planning to support a responsible and strategic transition away from diesel dependency. It will also create new economic opportunities and improve the quality of life of community members and is expected to pave the way for future renewable energy projects in the Fort Nelson First Nation community and surrounding area.
A Community Energy Plan will provide a pathway to understand clean energy development opportunities in and around a community; identify areas to improve energy efficiency; and engage community members on the value of having a sustainable, reliable, clean energy source.
Funding for the project comes from the Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities program. The six-year, $220-million program aims to reduce reliance on diesel in rural and remote communities by deploying and demonstrating renewable energy, encouraging energy efficiency and building local skills and capacity.
It is part of the Government of Canada's Investing in Canada infrastructure plan, a more than $180-billion investment over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes and Canada's rural and northern communities.
"Canada's energy future will depend on us working together to meet the challenges and share the opportunities of this clean growth future. Projects like this build the foundation for innovative renewable energy projects that will help reduce the reliance on diesel, moving us toward a cleaner future."
The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi
Minister of Natural Resources Canada
"Today's announcement is an investment in the future of our people and all our children. Having access to clean energy through geothermal is a key priority for our Nation. We are thankful to the federal government for providing the necessary financial assistance to explore this project further. Having access to geothermal will bring many benefits to our community and create security and economic benefits as we move forward for decades to come."
Chief Sharleen Gale
Fort Nelson First Nation
"We offer our congratulations to Chief Gale and the Fort Nelson First Nation on achieving this important milestone in the development of geothermal energy in British Columbia. The agreement announced today shows once again that First Nations can provide the leadership and the innovation that is required to transition to clean energy and protect our Mother Earth. We encourage the federal and provincial governments to continue to support First Nations' clean energy projects. We look forward to supporting Chief Gale and the Fort Nelson First Nation as they lead the way to a brighter future and healthier environment for everyone."
Chief Ken Cameron
Saulteau First Nations
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SOURCE Natural Resources Canada
For further information: Media Relations, Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa, 343-292-6100, [email protected]; Vanessa Adams, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Natural Resources, 343-543-7645, [email protected]