The project will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create local jobs.
With support from Alberta’s Indigenous Solar Program, Beaver First Nation has installed solar panels on their band office, daycare, two fire halls, community centre and carpentry shop.
Funds saved from reduced utility costs – approximately $6,500 per year – will allow Beaver First Nation to reinvest in other community priorities. The solar panels are expected to generate 50.57 megawatt hours per year. They will also prevent about 800 tonnes of greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere, which is the equivalent of taking 170 cars off the road.
“Beaver First Nation is taking action to combat the effects of climate change and make a better life for future generations. We are proud to support them in their efforts and their environmental leadership.”
“It was important to Beaver because of the impact it would have on our energy bills and also we wanted to prove that solar power can work here in northern Alberta. We are big advocates of green energy and are very proud to participate in the Indigenous Climate Leadership Initiative with the province and we hope to see more projects like this in the future.”
The $153,718 grant is part of $35 million in funding available in 2017-18 for Indigenous climate leadership programs that help Indigenous communities respond to climate change and provide greater energy security. These initiatives support the Alberta government’s commitment to implement the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.