TOFINO, BC, Sept. 9, 2014 /CNW/ - Mark Strahl, Member of Parliament for Chilliwack‑Fraser Canyon and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, today announced that the Government of Canada is investing in the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation's latest run-of-river hydro development project.
The Winchie Creek Hydro project involves building a small weir across the waterway which directs water towards an intake point. This water is allowed to fall through a pipe or penstock down to a powerhouse where it spins turbines to create electricity. The water is then channelled out of the powerhouse so that it can rejoin the river.
Our Government's funding will help fund the professional and technical costs associated with the development of the Winchie Creek Hydro project near Tofino, on the west coast of Vancouver Island. These works include project planning, hydrology/environmental studies, and engineering designs. Once constructed, Winchie Creek Hydro has the potential to generate 10.5 gigawatt hour (GWh) of renewable energy annually and create over 187 direct and indirect jobs.
As part of Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation's economic development focus on renewable energy, the Winchie Creek Hydro project is the third run-of-river facility undertaken by the community. The first, Canoe Creek Hydro, has been in operation since 2010. The second facility, Haa-ak-suuk Creek Hydro, is nearing completion.
The Government's contribution of $554,487 was made under AANDC's Community Opportunity Readiness Program (CORP) which provides project-based funding to First Nation and Inuit Communities in support of their pursuit of economic opportunities.
- The Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations (formerly referred to as the Clayoquot), are a Nuu-chah-nulth First Nation with 1,066 members, of which 362 live on reserves along the Pacific Rim National Park on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.
- Run-of-river hydro power is a renewable electricity generating option which is different from conventional storage hydro as it uses natural elevation and part of the natural flow of a stream to create power.
"Our Government is committed to supporting local initiatives that bring growth and economic prosperity to the community. The investment in the Winchie Creek Hydro Project will help strengthen the economic opportunities for the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation by creating jobs and a long term revenue stream for the community, while providing sustainable energy for thousands of homes on Vancouver Island."
Mark Strahl, Member of Parliament
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development
"Our Government's participation in this project is a direct result of our commitment to taking concrete steps to create the conditions for stronger, healthier, more self-sufficient First Nation communities."
Member of Parliament for Nanaimo–Alberni
"This green energy project within our Hawiihs' hahoulthee fits well within our Economic Development business plan and contributes to our goal of diversifying our economy. Building a balanced and diversified economy is vital to the success of moving forward toward our goal of being a self sustaining Nation."
Tla-o-qui-aht Chief Cuncillor
SOURCE: Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
For further information: Erica Meekes, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, 819-997-0002; Media Relations, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, 819-953-1160; You can subscribe to receive our news releases and speeches via RSS feeds or e-mail. For more information or to subscribe, visit www.aandc.gc.ca/subscriptions.