Yesterday, at the First Nations Major Project Coalition’s Annual industry engagement event, Minister of Natural Resources Jonathan Wilkinson announced a $300 million investment toward capacity-building initiatives that communities can now apply for on the Clean Energy in Indigenous, Rural and Remote Communities website.

Announced as part of the Strengthened Climate Plan, investments under this program will support communities launching clean heat and power projects such as wind, solar, geothermal, hydro and biomass and support increased adoption of energy efficiency measures. Projects like these will not only reduce the use of fossil fuels to keep the air and land clean but will also support communities in creating jobs and generating reliable heat and power for generations to come.

“Canada is working toward reducing the use of diesel and other fossil fuels for heat and power in Indigenous, rural and remote communities by improving energy efficiency and increasing the use of local renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, geothermal, hydro and biomass,” said Wilkinson.

“We will continue to work in partnership with these communities to empower and support local low-emissions solutions and help build the clean energy future we need.”

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Minister of Natural Resources Jonathan Wilkinson makes this announcement at the First Nations Major Projects Coalition conference in Vancouver, British Columbia. Image credit: Twitter @JonathanWNV.

To support Indigenous, rural and remote communities as they transition to clean energy, the Government of Canada is also creating a single-window approach to access resources and energy funding. Expected to launch this fall, this new service model will provide flexible funding, support and resources for communities. As part of this new service model, the government will also establish an Indigenous Advisory Council to provide guidance and advice on project selection and development.

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“Investing in remote communities as they transition from diesel to cleaner sources of energy is an important part of reducing emissions and protecting our climate. Supporting Indigenous-led clean energy projects in rural and remote communities will ensure reliable energy, improve health and safety, and contribute to a better quality of life,” said Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services.

Through the Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities (CERRC) program and the Indigenous Off-Diesel Initiative, NRCan is now supporting 115 capacity-building and renewable energy projects in over 130 communities.

Some projects supported through these programs include:

  • The Atlin Hydro expansion project in Yukon has received $39.6 million in funding through Northern REACHE, CERRC, CanNor and the Low Carbon Economy Fund.
  • Tarquti Energy, an Inuit-led energy company, received $979,000 to conduct wind resource assessments in Nunavik.
  • Baker Lake in Nunavut received $172,000 in funding to install a solar energy system on the local recreational centre.
  • The Nunatsiavut Government received $1.4 million to advance wind power projects in Nain, Labrador.
  • The Indigenous Off-Diesel Initiative supports 14 energy champions and their remote Indigenous communities/regions in developing and implementing ambitious plans to reduce diesel use for heat and power. This initiative is delivered in collaboration with the Indigenous Clean Energy Social Enterprise and the Pembina Institute.

Featured image: Atlin Hydro expansion project in Yukon. Image credit: Tlingit Homeland Economic Limited Partnership.

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