Follow Us! Like Our Page!

Province supporting Kitasoo/Xai’xais First Nation transition to clean energy

Press Release

June 18, 2020

KITIMAT – The remote First Nations community of Klemtu is transitioning from diesel to clean electricity under the Province’s CleanBC plan and creating local jobs during construction.

Accessible only by boat or plane, the community currently relies in part on diesel-generated electricity, impacting its environment and subjecting it to fuel price fluctuations and high operational costs. The Province’s Renewable Energy for Remote Communities (RERC) program is providing $4.6 million for the 1.7 MW Hydropower Facility Modernization and Expansion project, which will modernize the existing Baron Lake hydroelectric power facility.

“Our goal is to reduce provincewide diesel consumption for generating electricity in remote communities by 80% by 2030,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources. “By upgrading the existing facility in Klemtu, we are using B.C.’s abundant supply of clean renewable hydroelectricity – and helping remote communities reduce climate pollution.”

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 is designed to complement other initiatives that assist remote communities as they undertake energy planning, increase energy efficiency, and decarbonize their energy systems.

The Kitasoo/Xai’xais First Nation clean-energy project is one of four to be funded to date under the RERC program. Work is expected to begin this summer. Kitasoo/Xai’xais First Nation will further invest in new employment and training opportunities in the community by hiring local people during the construction of the facility and its ongoing operations.

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:

Kitasoo/Xai’xais Chief Councillor Roxanne Robinson –

“This opportunity will provide security of power and cost savings for our community. As a result, we will be able to develop civil upgrades, such as building a wastewater treatment plant, larger water treatment facility, a new community hall and a new subdivision. We are proud to be able to transition into a greener, more environmentally friendly community and look forward to the new opportunities that this project will bring to our community.”

Huux̱ Percy Crosby, chair, Coast Funds –

“Kitasoo/Xai’xais 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 Kitasoo/Xai’xais 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 –

“Indigenous peoples across the province are taking action on climate change and building a cleaner, better future in the process. Our government is partnering with Kitasoo/Xai’xais First Nation through CleanBC to help make sure Indigenous people living in remote communities have access to clean air, clean energy and economic opportunities for years to come.”

Scott Fraser, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation –

“We all have an important part to play in helping B.C. to become a cleaner, healthier place to live, and many remote Indigenous communities such as Klemtu are leading the way by replacing diesel power with clean, renewable energy. This program is supporting reconciliation by helping First Nations reclaim sustainability on lands they’ve stewarded for millennia and generating cost savings that benefit the community.”

Jennifer Rice, MLA for North Coast –

“The Kitasoo/Xai’ Xais are strong stewards of the land and waters of their territories and operating their community on a cleaner, more reliable energy source has been a goal for some time. This project will mean greater economic and energy security for Klemtu, as well as important job opportunities for people in the community. I’m very glad that our provincial government and the Kitasoo/Xai’xais First Nation have been able to work together to take this important step that will have so many local benefits, and will pave the way for this type of project to be realized in other isolated communities.”

Quick Facts:

  • This project will reduce carbon emissions in Klemtu by an estimated 11,160 tonnes over the hydropower facility’s operating life.
  • On behalf of the Province, Coast Funds and the Fraser Basin Council are providing up to $16.5 million to remote communities to develop renewable electricity projects. 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

Kitasoo/Xai’xais First Nation: https://klemtu.com/kitasoo-band

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

ILR5

NationTalk Partners & Sponsors Learn More