The BC First Nations Clean Energy Working Group in partnership with the University of Victoria Environmental Studies and Clean Energy BC have released a survey regarding First Nations involvement in the clean energy industry. The survey had 105 responses from the 203 First Nations in the province.
The survey found 47% of the 105 First Nations surveyed are involved in the clean energy industry in some way from ownership to receiving royalties.
“This document clearly outlines actions that can be taken by policy makers in this growing sector”, said James Redford, Director of Lands and Resources for Quatsino First Nation. “We strongly endorse the survey First Nations and Renewable Energy Development in British Columbia that indicates 98% of responding Nations are eager for more development in this area.”
Amongst the First Nations that responded, they are involved in 78 operating projects, 49 projects under development and an additional 249 projects that they want to build.
Judith Sayers, one of the authors of the paper commented “the sheer number of projects First Nations are involved in or want to become more involved in the clean energy sector confirms the need for government to continue to develop and expand this sector with First Nations. For the First Nations that responded to the survey, they have invested over $35 million in operating projects and furthermore what they want to build has an approximate total value of $3.4 billion. This is a significant investment potential for BC that the BC Government is ignoring. “
61% of First Nation respondents said the biggest barrier to producing power to the grid is the lack of opportunity to sell to BC Hydro. BC Hydro has stopped acquiring power from independent power producers because of the projected surplus of power the Site C dam will produce beginning in 2024.
Chief Patrick Michell of Kanaka Bar Indian Band says “The BC Government was very aware of how much interest and involvement there is by First Nations to produce electricity for the grid and they still made the decision to proceed with Site C knowing they would be stopping development of many smaller projects and denying economic development opportunities for First Nations.”
The survey is a good picture of what the impacts of clean energy have been in the province for First Nations and what the potential could be if given the opportunity.
For More Information Contact:
Judith Sayers (250) 415-0387 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Chief Patrick Michel (250) 455-2200 #225 or email@example.com
BC First Nations Clean Energy Working Group is an informal group of First Nations who are involved in the Clean Energy industry in BC that work together on common issues.
Quatsino First Nation cooperated to develop the 100MW Cape Scott Wind Farm. They are developing a 5MW run of the river project, Wady Creek. Several other wind and run off river energy project under consideration within their territory.
Kanaka Bar Indian Band through its company KCRI owns 50% in Kwoiek Creek Resources Limited Partnership with Innergex. It is a 50MW run of the river project with the powerhouse located on the Kanaka Bar reserve. They also have three small scale solar systems (6kV, 4kV and 1kV).