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On a sunny day last month, a group of about 30 people toured the Nanticoke Solar facility, a 44-megawatt project built on the former site of what was Ontario’s biggest coal-fired plant before it was decommissioned in 2013.
Beyond the symbolism of solar panels on the shores of Lake Erie, on a site once dominated by two looming coal stacks, the tour marked another shift: the growing role of Indigenous peoples in Canada’s renewable energy landscape.
Nanticoke Solar, in production since 2019, is a commercial partnership between Ontario Power Generation and Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corp., which has a 15-per-cent interest, and Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, which owns 5 per cent. The solar plant is one of several Indigenous partnerships at OPG, which signed its first such agreement, for a hydropower plant with the Lac Seul First Nation, in 2009.