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Hesquiaht First Nations making transition to clean, reliable energy

Press Release

July 20, 2018

HOT SPRINGS COVE – The Hesquiaht First Nations community of Hot Springs Cove is making the transition from diesel generators to hydropower, with the support of a $500,000 equity grant from the Province of British Columbia.

“The shift to reliable, clean energy opens up opportunities, supports ingenuity and makes life better for people in remote First Nations communities, like Hot Springs Cove,” said Scott Fraser, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation. “The First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund provides critical support to First Nations, so they can get remote-electrification projects off the ground and access further funding through the federal government.”

Hot Springs Cove does not have access to the BC Hydro grid, so the 350-kilowatt power plant on the Ahtaapq Creek is expected to replace 76% of its diesel use, and cut 627 tonnes of greenhouse-gas emissions each year. Additionally, it will greatly reduce the risk of spills and environmental contamination during fuel transport.

The $13.7-million project has received a $500,000 equity grant from the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund. The project had received $50,000 from the fund for a feasibility study in 2013, and $100,000 from the BC Rural Dividend Fund.

“The First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund has been an effective tool for us to pursue this project. First, it provided money for a feasibility study, and now this equity investment has allowed us to secure the federal funding we need to make this project a reality,” said Richard Lucas, Hesquiaht First Nations Chief.

The remaining funds for the project will be provided by Indigenous Services Canada. The project stands as an example of the effective partnership between First Nations, B.C. and Canada.

Hesquiaht First Nations has partnered with the Barkley Project Group to build the power plant, which is expected to be complete in March 2019.

Applications for the next First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund intake will be accepted until the end of January 2019.

Quick Facts:

  • Revenue into the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund has increased from $6.7 million in 2017, to $7.2 million for 2018.
  • The fund provides up to $500,000 in equity funding, and $50,000 for capacity funding, that aids First Nations in pursuing energy-efficiency and clean-energy projects, particularly projects that reduce a community’s reliance on fossil-fuel-based electricity generation.
  • The fund was established in 2010, and more than 110 First Nations communities have benefited from more than $10.8 million in capacity and equity funding.
  • The fund also provides revenue-sharing agreements with First Nations for a portion of water and land rents charged by the Province for new clean-energy projects. If an eligible clean-energy project site is on a traditional territory, First Nations may be eligible for a revenue-sharing agreement.
  • Forty B.C. First Nations communities benefit from clean-energy revenue-sharing agreements under the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund.

Learn More:

Hesquiaht First Nations: http://www.hesquiaht.ca/new/

First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund: http://ow.ly/JPz530apMVdContact:Tania Venn
Communications Manager
Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation
778 698-9499

Connect with the Province of B.C. at: news.gov.bc.ca/connect

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