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23 Apr 2024

Janella Hamilton, Indigenous Watchdog

Canada: First nation develops solar farm with BC Hydro to reduce diesel dependency & for cultural & economic self determination

"First Nation sees path to ‘energy sovereignty’ in solar farm", 23 April, 2024

The Ulkatcho First Nation is set to build the largest off-grid solar power farm in Canada... The Ulkatcho Energy Corporation (UEC), which owns the project, signed a historic 20-year agreement with B.C. Hydro, promising that the public utility will purchase the energy created by the solar farm and integrate it into power lines and a storage system to serve the community... [The] transition will reduce the community’s reliance on diesel by approximately 1.1 million litres — equivalent to approximately 3,300 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions — per year, B.C. Hydro CEO Chris O’Riley told CBC at the signing ceremony..“It’s important for people to understand how important this project is as part of our larger climate goals, as part of our reconciliation goals with First Nations,” O’Riley said... Corinne Cahoose, an Ulkatcho First Nation elected councillor, says the project is important from a practical perspective, but also for the nation’s economic, environmental and cultural self-determination... The UEC, which is owned by the nation’s economic development corporation, will also feed revenue from the sale of solar power to B.C. Hydro into services, infrastructure, education and housing on the First Nation.