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Province supporting Dzawada̱ʼenux̱w First Nation transition to clean energy

Press Release

June 18, 2020

PORT HARDY – The remote Dzawada̱ʼenux̱w First Nation village in Kingcome Inlet is taking steps to transition from diesel to clean electricity and create local jobs under the Province’s CleanBC plan.

The Province’s Renewable Energy for Remote Communities (RERC) program is providing $3.3 million for the Padakus Creek 350 kW hydropower project, which will significantly reduce diesel use in the power generation system that serves the village of U’kwanalis. The Dzawada̱ʼenux̱w First Nation will further invest in new employment and training opportunities throughout the construction of the new facility and its ongoing operations.

“B.C. is a clean energy powerhouse, but many of our remote communities still rely on fossil fuels for electricity generation and heating,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources. “Our goal is to use hydroelectric power whenever we can and reduce provincewide diesel consumption for generating electricity in remote communities by 80% by 2030.”

The $16.5-million RERC program helps remote communities shift to renewable energy, moving away from polluting diesel generators to cleaner energy sources. The program, which is administered on behalf of the Province by Coast Funds and Fraser Basin Council, is designed to complement other initiatives that assist remote communities as they undertake energy planning, increase energy efficiency and decarbonize their energy systems.

The Dzawada̱ʼenux̱w First Nation clean energy project is one of four to be funded to date under the RERC program. Work is expected to begin in the coming year.

CleanBC is a pathway to a more prosperous, balanced and sustainable future. CleanBC was developed in collaboration with the BC Green Party caucus and supports the commitment in the Confidence and Supply Agreement to implement climate action to meet B.C.’s emission targets.

Quotes:

Dzawada̱ʼenux̱w Chief Willie Moon –

“Dzawada̱ʼenux̱w have been striving to return to renewable energy sources since we first began depending on diesel-generated electricity in the 1990s. We look forward to returning to a clean-energy source to power our community and appreciate the financial support provided by Coast Funds and the Province to construct our Padakus Hydropower Project.”

Huux̱ Percy Crosby, Chair of Coast Funds –

“Dzawada̱ʼenux̱w have sustainably cared for their unceded lands and waters for thousands of years. The renewable energy investment we’re proud to announce today is a testament to this sovereign Nation’s leadership in stewarding and safeguarding their territory, demonstrating a pathway to sustainability for all communities in British Columbia and around the world. We are grateful for our strong relationship with the Dzawada̱ʼenux̱w Nation and our partnership with the Province of B.C. to empower these investments under CleanBC.”

George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy –

“By working in partnership with Dzawada̱ʼenux̱w First Nation, our government is advancing reconciliation and helping build a cleaner, better future together. Thanks to the leadership of Dzawada̱ʼenux̱w and funding through CleanBC, more Indigenous people in remote communities will benefit from cleaner air and employment opportunities for years to come.”

Scott Fraser, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation –

“Many remote Indigenous communities like Dzawada’enuxw First Nation are taking a leading role in developing and implementing clean-energy alternatives. There is a lot we can learn from the sustainable practices of Indigenous peoples who have been on the land since time immemorial, at a time when clean energy practices are more important than ever.”

Claire Trevena, MLA for North Island –

“This investment will support Dzawada’enuxw First Nation’s efforts to transition to clean energy, while bringing employment and training opportunities to people in the community. I am proud to see our government investing in infrastructure that empowers remote communities to develop more sustainable energy resources in a way that benefits local people and local economies.

Quick Facts:

  • This project will result in a 97% reduction in diesel consumption with a reduction of 30,200 tonnes of carbon emissions over the Padakus Creek hydropower facility’s operating life.
  • Coast Funds is responsible for delivering the RERC program with First Nations located in the North/Central Coast and Haida Gwaii regions. The Fraser Basin Council is responsible for delivering the RERC program with all other remote communities in B.C.
  • The RERC program is a key part of the Province’s Remote Community Energy Strategy, announced in the CleanBC Plan. The strategy targets the 22 largest diesel generating stations in B.C. and aims to reduce provincewide diesel consumption for generating electricity in remote communities by 80% by 2030.

Learn More:

Coast Funds: https://coastfunds.ca

Renewable Energy for Remote Communities: www.gov.bc.ca/renewable-energy-remote-communities

Dzawada̱ʼenux̱w First Nation: https://www.kingcome.ca

Contact:

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

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

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