Solar Energy Moves Indigenous Communities Toward a Renewable Future

FORT CHIPEWYAN, AB, Aug. 8, 2019/CNW/ – The Government of Canada is investing in renewable energy to invigorate local economies. As well as create jobs and reduce emissions for a low-carbon future. The adoption of renewable energy technologies is also helping rural and remote indigenous communities reduce their reliance on diesel fuels.

The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, today announced a $4.5-million CAN investment in a solar energy and energy storage project in Fort Chipewyan, Alberta. The investment will reduce pollution and create over 40 good, middle-class jobs during construction. The Government of Alberta also contributed $3.3 million to the project.

Solar PV for rural and remote indigenous communities

The project will result in 20 percent of electricity generation for the community coming from renewable sources. Upon completion, a new 2.2-megawatt solar farm will complement an existing 400 kilowatt installation, making it the largest off-grid solar project in Canada.

In addition, a battery storage system and micro-grid control system will improve reliability of the grid. The project’s combined solar and battery energy storage system will displace 650,000 litres of diesel fuel per year, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 1,743 tonnes annually.

The project will be owned by Three Nations Energy, a Limited Partnership formed by the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, Mikisew Cree First Nation and Fort Chipewyan Métis Local 125 — three neighbouring Indigenous communities in Fort Chipewyan. ATCO. It’s an energy infrastructure company, will be a partner in the project.

Funding for the project comes from the Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities program. The six-year, $220-million program aims to reduce reliance on diesel in rural and remote indigenous communities. All consequently by deploying and demonstrating renewable energy. Thereby also encouraging energy efficiency and building local skills and capacity. It is part of the Government of Canada’s Investing in Canada infrastructure plan. The plan overall is more than $180-billion investment over 12 years.

All as a result in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade. As well as transportation routes and Canada’s rural and northern communities.

To follow on Twitter: @NRCan (http://twitter.com/nrcan)

SOURCE: Natural Resources Canada, PR NEWSWIRE, NEWS PROVIDED BY Natural Resources Canada, Aug 08, 2019, 10:00 ET

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