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Indigenous clean energy project receives over $3.6 million to harness the power of geothermal energy

Press Release

From: Pacific Economic Development Canada

The Government of Canada is making investments in British Columbia to power a clean economy and inclusive growth

October 17, 2023

Indigenous communities across British Columbia are seizing new opportunities that power a net-zero future. Their innovation is establishing B.C. as a leader in clean energy and driving economic growth. PacifiCan is here to help propel projects that build prosperity in communities across the province.

Today, on World Geothermal Energy Day, the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of Emergency Preparedness and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada (PacifiCan), announced over $3.6 million in PacifiCan funding to help Kitselas Geothermal harness geothermal energy for commercial use.

Geothermal energy is heat contained below the earth’s surface. It is a clean and renewable form of energy that can replace fossil fuel energy sources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. British Columbia is well positioned to become a leader in developing geothermal energy because the province sits along the Pacific Ocean “Ring of Fire,” an area with significant geothermal energy potential because of volcanoes.

With funding through PacifiCan’s Jobs and Growth Fund, Kitselas Geothermal will drill production wells to harness geothermal energy. This project is expected to generate over 170 new jobs, including for Indigenous workers, creating lasting economic benefits for the region.

PacifiCan supports innovation, business growth and community economic development in British Columbia. Through targeted funding programs, PacifiCan makes strategic investments in growing companies poised to strengthen B.C.’s position as a domestic and international leader in sectors such as clean technology, life sciences and digital industries.


“This announcement on World Geothermal Energy Day reflects the Government of Canada’s commitment to building a net-zero future. By harnessing the power of geothermal energy in Northern B.C., Kitselas Geothermal brings us one step closer to that future. PacifiCan will continue working with Indigenous communities in B.C. to create lasting economic development that advances reconciliation.”
– The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of Emergency Preparedness and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada

“Development of the ‘Fuel for Reconciliation’ geothermal energy project is a significant step towards Kitselas First Nation’s economic independence. The project also contributes to B.C.’s and Canada’s transition towards clean energy by demonstrating technology, training highly qualified professionals, and providing a proving ground for regulatory reform that will benefit both future project phases and other geothermal projects elsewhere in the country.”
– Alison Thompson, Director, Kitselas Geothermal Inc.

Quick facts

  • PacifiCan is the federal economic development agency dedicated to British Columbians. PacifiCan works with partners who are building innovative businesses, creating quality jobs, and supporting inclusive growth throughout the province.
  • The Jobs and Growth Fund helps job creators, and the organizations that support them, to future-proof their businesses. This includes building resiliency and growth by transitioning to a green economy, fostering an inclusive recovery, enhancing competitiveness and creating jobs across British Columbia.
  • Through the Jobs and Growth Fund, PacifiCan invested $85.4 million in British Columbia businesses. The application intake for this program is now closed.
  • Established in 2016, Kitselas Geothermal is decarbonizing local industry to provide social, environmental and economic benefits to Kitselas First Nation and the region.
  • The project’s first phase, Fuel for Reconciliation, is designed to replace 270,000 gigajoules per year of natural gas, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by over 13,000 tonnes per year.
  • Exploration wells have been drilled in B.C. to explore the province’s geothermal energy potential. High potential sites have been identified in every region of the province.

Associated links


Haley Hodgson
Senior Communications Advisor
Office of the Minister of Emergency Preparedness and Pacific Economic Development Agency (PacifiCan)

Jillian Glover
Communications Manager



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