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Vancouver Island First Nations share clean energy revenue

Press Release –

For Immediate Release
2014ARR0021-001132
August 6, 2014

Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation

VANCOUVER ISLAND – A series of agreements with the B.C. government will enable First Nations on Vancouver Island to share provincial revenue on clean energy projects through the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund (FNCEBF).

The `Namgis First Nation  will benefit from the Kokish River Hydroelectric Project, which lies approximately 15 kilometres east of Port McNeill. The project is owned and operated by Kwagis Power, a limited partnership between Brookfield Renewable and `Namgis First Nation. The First Nation provincial revenue-sharing is forecast to be an estimated $165,000 to $192,000 per year over the life of the project.

Mowachaht-Muchalaht First Nation will also receive funding through the FNCEBF. Upon operating at full capacity, Mowachaht will receive an estimated $30,000 in provincial revenue sharing annually over the lifetime of the Cypress Creek Hydro project, which has been developed by Synex Energy Resources Ltd. and is located near Gold River.

Further revenue-sharing benefits will flow to Klahoose First Nation from the Jimmie Creek Hydro project, approximately 100 kilometres northeast of Powell River. Once the project is fully operational, the Klahoose are expected to receive approximately $214,000 in provincial revenue sharing annually over the life of the project.

Quotes:

John Rustad, Minster of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation –

“Through the support and leadership of First Nations, B.C.’s clean energy sector is growing rapidly. These revenue-sharing agreements highlight our commitment to provide social and economic benefits to First Nations through the additional support of their clean energy development projects.”

Chief Debra Hanuse, `Namgis First Nation  –

“The ‘Namgis First Nation places great importance on partnerships as a path to sustainable self-sufficiency, governed by respect for environment, culture and sound management. We welcome this agreement as an example of the B.C. government’s similar commitment to these values.”

James Delorme, Chief Councillor, Klahoose First Nation  –

“The First Nation Clean Energy Business Fund has been a game changer for Klahoose First Nation. The program ensures we are a major stakeholder in the green energy sector in B.C.’s economy. This fund has not only assisted us in the fundamental development of a comprehensive agreement, but has been a conduit for revenue sharing for our Nation. Through this program, Klahoose is able to leverage employment, infrastructure and sustainable economic benefits which supports our communities. Klahoose looks forward to the ongoing benefits through this ever-improving program.”

Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy and Mines –

“First Nations and their partners continue to support the clean-energy sector in their traditional territories. These agreements provide jobs, and show what can be accomplished through collaboration. By demonstrating leadership in the growing clean energy sector, First Nations are bringing economic benefits to their communities.”

Quick Facts:

  • The Kokish River Hydro Project has an installed capacity of 45 megawatts, which can generate enough clean, renewable energy annually to power close to 13,000 homes.
  • The Cypress Creek Hydro Project is a 2.8-megawatt hydro facility, which was issued an amended water licence in May 2013. The project provides energy to the integrated grid under the terms of a 20-year electricity purchase agreement with BC Hydro. The project generates 11 gigawatt hours of emission-free electricity on average per year.
  • The Jimmie Creek Hydro Project is a run-of-river hydro facility with an estimated capacity of 55 mega-watts. The generated electricity will be connected to a 230-kilovolt transmission line to Saltery Bay, 30 kilometres south of Powell River.
  • British Columbia is the first province to share revenue from mining, forestry and other resources with First Nations.
  • The First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund provides money to build capacity in First Nations communities and invest in clean-energy infrastructure.
  • Through the revenue-sharing agreements, participating First Nations will receive a share of water rentals and land rents charged by the Province for licences issued to the power developer for the life of a project.
  • Since 2011, the provincial government has invested approximately $5.1 million in capacity and equity funding to support clean energy opportunities in 80 Aboriginal communities throughout B.C., including wind energy, biomass, run-of-river hydroelectric power and clean energy planning.
  • The clean-energy technology industry is one of the fastest growing industries in B.C., with more than 200 organizations, 68% of which were formed in the past decade.

Learn More:

For more information about the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund, visit:www.gov.bc.ca/arr/economic/fncebf.html

Media Contact:

Corinna Filion
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation
250 953-3211
250 882-0918 (cell)

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