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Province invests in community-owned clean energy projects

Dec. 27, 2017

VICTORIA – The Province is supporting local governments and First Nations investments in projects that will lower energy costs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lead to more affordable and sustainable community infrastructure.

One of the projects receiving funding is a solar-powered Zamboni ice resurfacer at the Chilton Regional Arena in the Regional District of Mount Waddington. This unique project funds the Zamboni’s conversion from propane power to solar-charged/lithium-ion-battery electric. The upgrade in technology is estimated to save about $9,000-per-year in operating costs.

Four additional communities throughout British Columbia are receiving funding for projects. These include energy efficiency retrofits to community-owned facilities in the District of Clearwater and the Township of Langley, a run-of-river hydro project in Wuikinuxv Nation and a solar-energy system in Xeni Gwet’in First Nations.

“From renewable energy projects in remote First Nations communities, to energy efficiency retrofits in public buildings and a solar-powered Zamboni, these innovative projects will reduce energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions,” said Michelle Mungall, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources. “By promoting conservation, we are also creating good jobs and encouraging economic activity that will benefit communities throughout the province.”

“Our government is investing in clean technology, and by funding projects like these, we are encouraging the development of innovative solutions that can make a significant impact in the fight against climate change,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “We are committed to fostering a sustainable, clean-growth economy that puts people to work while reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, meeting our climate targets and making life more affordable for families.”

The total funding for the projects is $620,000, with $482,000 coming from the Community Energy Leadership Program (CELP) and $138,000 coming from the Remote Community Implementation (RCI) Program.

“The Zamboni project was first proposed to the arena committee as just a conversion to replace the existing 20-year-old unit,” said Andrew Hory, chair, Regional District of Mount Waddington. “However, by fundraising with corporate and private partners and with provincial support, we were able to come up with this innovative machine which saves us money and will help bring our arena service to operational carbon neutral in 2018.”

CELP supports investments in energy efficiency and clean-energy projects that help communities reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, increase energy efficiency, stimulate economic activity and promote partnerships that advance British Columbia’s growing clean-energy sector.

Funding for CELP comes from the B.C. Innovative Clean Energy (ICE) Fund, designed to support the Province’s energy, economic, environmental and greenhouse gas reduction priorities and advance B.C.’s clean energy sector.

The RCI Program has helped B.C.’s remote communities in reducing their dependence on diesel generation by funding capital costs of implementation or construction of clean energy systems, such as hydro, wind and solar energy.

Support for these projects is aligned with the government’s commitment to re-invigorate the ICE Fund to boost investments in ground-breaking new energy technologies, climate change solutions and community-focused energy projects — especially projects that drive development in rural, northern and First Nations communities.

Quick Facts:

  • CELP contributions for 2017-18 range from $30,000 to $160,000 per project. Applicants are required to cover a minimum of 5% of total project costs and secure alternate sources of funding as needed.
  • CELP funding for 2017-18 will leverage $3 million in investment from communities and other funding partners.
  • Since its launch, CELP has provided $1.2 million for 19 projects to help communities implement local energy efficiency and clean-energy projects.
  • The 19 projects that have received funding from CELP will result in annual greenhouse emissions reductions of over 4,000 tonnes, equivalent to taking 850 passenger vehicles off the road each year.

Learn More:

CELP: www.gov.bc.ca/communityenergyleadershipprogram

ICE Fund: www.gov.bc.ca/innovativecleanenergyfund

RCI Program: http://www.fraserbasin.bc.ca/ccaq_rci.html

The Regional District of Mount Waddington’s Zamboni is featured in the Recreation Facilities Association of British Columbia’s fall magazine: http://www.rfabc.com/Assets/RFABC+Digital+Assets/pdf/fallf2f2017.pdf

A backgrounder with more information on the projects follows.

Contact:

Suntanu Dalal
Media Relations
Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources
250 952-0628


BACKGROUNDER

Dec. 27, 2017

Community-owned energy projects around B.C. receive funding

The following projects received CELP funding for 2017-18:

  • District of Clearwater – $160,000 for a district energy system in the North Thompson Sportsplex. The project will replace the existing propane/hydro heating system with a biomass woodchip-fuelled system, saving the community approximately $29,000 annually and reducing GHG emissions by 62 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) per year. The total project cost is $521,251.
  • Township of Langley – $80,000 for a heat-recovery system in a hockey rink ice plant. The project involves the installation of a heat-recovery ventilator and a heat pump to recover heat from the hockey rink chiller system. The project will produce operational cost savings of approximately $21,000 per year, while partially switching the fuel source from natural gas to electricity and reducing GHG emissions by nearly 120 tonnes of CO2e per year. The total project cost is $265,000.
  • Regional District of Mount Waddington – $30,000 to convert a gas-powered Zamboni ice resurfacer to solar powered. The project will save the community approximately $9,000 per year – which represents 80% of the annual operating costs for the Zamboni – and will reduce GHG emissions by 9.7 tonnes of CO2e per year. The total project cost is $221,000.
  • Wuikinuxv Nation – $106,000 of CELP funding and $69,000 of RCI funding for a total of $175,000 for a run-of-river hydropower project on the Nicknaqueet River. The project will reduce the use of diesel in the community by 92%, with savings of $271,500 annually for over 40 years. It will also reduce GHG emissions by 806 tonnes of CO2e per year. Provincial funding is contributing to a component of the project worth $599,823. The total project cost for the hydropower project is $11 million. The Wuikinuxv Nation is located in the remote area of the Central Coast of British Columbia.
  • Xeni Gwet’in First Nations – $106,000 of CELP funding and $69,000 of RCI funding for a total of $175,000 for Phase 2 of the Electrical Power System project. The project involves the installation of solar photovoltaic panels, energy storage, and a smart grid to supply clean, reliable, affordable, renewable electrical energy to Xeni Gwet’in community members. Existing fossil-fuel generators will be replaced and will reduce GHG emissions by approximately 382 tonnes of CO2e per year. The total project cost is $1,875,000. The Xeni Gwet’in First Nations are located in the Nemiah Valley within the Cariboo Chilcotin region.

Contact:

Suntanu Dalal
Media Relations
Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources
250 952-0628

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

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