Alberta launches Indigenous renewables pilot program
As part of Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan, the provincial government is launching two small-scale pilot programs for First Nations and Metis communities that invest in local renewable projects that create jobs, reduce emissions and lower utility costs.
“Indigenous communities are at the frontlines of climate change and want to be part of the solution. These programs will help Indigenous organizations and communities reduce their emissions and energy bills while creating good jobs and a healthier, more diversified energy economy.”
The Alberta Indigenous Solar Program (AISP) and the Alberta Indigenous Community Energy Program (AICEP) will provide $2.5 million for First Nations and Metis Settlements to undertake renewable energy projects and energy efficiency audits in their communities.
The AISP will provide grants of up to $200,000 per project to First Nations, Metis Settlements and Indigenous organizations. The money will be used to install solar panels on buildings owned by communities or organizations, such as offices, medical centres, schools and more.
The AICEP will help First Nations and Metis Settlements reduce emissions and save on energy costs through community energy audits funded to a maximum of $90,000.
These pilot programs will inform engagement on future climate leadership programming.
In addition, the province will work with successful applicants to develop educational programs that will work as a scientific learning tool for students and community members.
“Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan will make our economy greener, more diversified and more sustainable for future generations. To succeed in this and grow a provincial energy sector that includes renewables, we must ensure Indigenous communities have the capacity to participate in the process. These two programs are an important first step towards achieving these goals.”
“‘Protect Mother Earth and do not poison Mother Earth” has always been the Elders’ advice. Being involved with solar is in line with our Elders, providing clean energy.”
“Green Arrow Energy understands the important economic and environmental value of solar projects to First Nation communities. We work with communities to assess and provide consultation on their energy needs and we look forward to these new opportunities to continue serving the community.”
On Nov. 22, 2015, the Government of Alberta announced a historic new strategy on climate change based on recommendations put forward by the Climate Change Advisory Panel.
The Climate Leadership Plan sets a better course for Alberta's economic future. By reinvesting carbon revenue back into communities, we are helping to diversify our economy, save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Both programs are now accepting applications (see links).