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26
Apr

Fund creates First Nations clean energy opportunities

Victoria – A small storage, run-of-river hydro facility that will create economic opportunities and help a coastal First Nation get off diesel is one of 11 new projects supported by B.C.’s First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund (FNCEBF).

In the third round of funding from the FNCEBF, $610,000 will go to 11 First Nations communities across B.C. In the past year, B.C. has supported 41 projects in communities around the province, ranging from job training, joint ventures with industry and exploring ways for Aboriginal communities to participate in clean and renewable energy opportunities.

By providing funding for equity and capacity-building and feasibility/development projects, the fund helps to generate jobs for families and provide opportunities that benefit First Nations and non-First Nation communities alike, as well as building economic independence for First Nations.

For the Gitga’at First Nation, equity funding of $250,000 will support construction and operation of hydroelectric works that will virtually replace diesel power with clean and reliable power and create economic opportunities for the community by selling the power to BC Hydro for resale to the community of Hartley Bay.

Four communities will receive $30,000 each for community energy planning, to study their current energy sources and consumption, and assess clean energy alternatives for use in the future. Six communities will receive $40,000 each for feasibility studies and development work across a range of projects, including a wind power project that would be the first wind farm in B.C. owned and operated by First Nations.

The First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund was created in 2010 to support First Nations and new power projects. B.C. contributed an initial $5 million. A percentage of land and water rentals generated by eligible projects will be returned to the fund with the goal of the fund being completely self-revenue generating in the future.

Quotes:

Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, Mary Polak -
“The First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund continues to attract applicants from all corners of B.C. The range of projects being supported will bring tangible benefits to First Nation families and surrounding communities, and I look forward to seeing these First Nations lead the way in clean energy economic development opportunities that will benefit all British Columbians.”

Chief Arnold Clifton, Gitga’at First Nation –
“Hartley Bay has been working to develop a clean energy solution for our community for many years in keeping with traditional and cultural practices of caring for the environment. The First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund has been supportive of this initiative since the inception of the fund. The equity contribution represents about one per cent of our projected costs. The Gitga’at see this as another step in reaching our goal of developing a clean energy solution for the community and thanks the Province for their support.”

Chief James Delorme, Klahoose First Nation –
“The Klahoose First Nation is very pleased to be a successful applicant to the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund. The commitment by the B.C. government to First Nations business puts Klahoose on the map for a successful green energy project. The economic boost to our community through this business support is well-received and will assist our people immensely.”

Quick Facts:
· To date, the fund has provided $1.97 million to 41 Aboriginal communities in B.C. to support First Nations participation in the clean energy sector.
· The First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund promotes increased First Nation participation in the clean energy sector through:
· Revenue-sharing from eligible clean energy projects based on revenues derived from water rentals and land rents.
· Equity funding of up to $500,000 for First Nations to invest in clean energy projects and help communities attract further investment.
· Capacity development funding of up to $50,000 to support First Nations with community energy planning, feasibility studies or engagement with private sector proponents of clean energy projects.

Learn More:
For more information about the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund and how to apply, please call toll-free 1 800 880 1022 or visit http://www.gov.bc.ca/arr/economic/fncebf.html

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