Clean energy program aims to help shift remote Kitasoo/Xai’xais First Nation community to renewable energy sources

The First Nation community of Klemtu is transitioning to renewable energy for future sustainability.

The remote community Klemtu, home of the Kitasoo/Xai’xais First Nation, is joining a new provincial government program to help them transition from diesel to clean energy electricity to work towards better future sustainability.

As the community is only accessible by boat or plane, it currently relies in part on diesel-generated electricity, which impacts the sustainability of the environment and makes it subject to fuel price fluctuations and high operational costs.

The goal, according to Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mines, and Petroleum Resources, is to “reduce province-wide diesel consumption for generating electricity in remote communities by 80% by 2030.”

“By upgrading the existing facility in Klemtu,” Ralston said, “we are using B.C.’s abundant supply of clean renewable hydroelectricity and helping remote communities reduce climate pollution.”

The provincial program is called Renewable Energy for Remote Communities (RERC), and is providing $4.6 million for the 1.7 MW Hydropower Facility Modernization and Expansion project, which will modernize the existing Baron Lake hydroelectric power facility near Klemtu.

“This opportunity will provide security of power and cost savings for our community,” Kitasoo/Xai’xais Chief Councillor Roxanne Robinson said. “As a result, we will be able to develop civil upgrades, such as building a wastewater treatment plant, larger water treatment facility, a new community hall and a new subdivision.”

The Kitasoo/Xai’xais First Nation clean-energy project is one of four to be funded to date under the RERC program. The other three include the Dzawada’enuxw First Nation village in Kingcome Inlet, the Hesquiaht First Nation community in Clayoquot Sound, and the Xeni Gwet’in First Nation community in the Chilcotin.

Minister Ralston said the communities were chosen by a selection committee through an application process, with six considerations, including financial and community need. He said there are 22 top diesel emitting communities that are included in the plan to reduce diesel emissions going forward.

Work is expected to begin this summer. There is no explicit end date, but the projects must be completed before 2022.

The project will also be beneficial to the community through “greater economic and energy security for Klemtu, as well as important job opportunities for people in the community,” said Jennifer Rice, MLA for North Coast. The Klemtu project will employ eight direct full-time temporary jobs for local residents during the construction phase, and two permanent part-time jobs during the operations phase, according to RERC.

“The Kitasoo/Xai’ Xais are strong stewards of the land and waters of their territories and operating their community on a cleaner, more reliable energy source has been a goal for some time,” she added.

“We are proud to be able to transition into a greener, more environmentally friendly community and look forward to the new opportunities that this project will bring to our community,” Robinson said.

The RERC program is a part of CleanBC, working to help implement climate action to meet B.C.’s emission targets.



clare.rayment@northernsentinel.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Fundraising begins to bring back Mountainview Lodge bus

The bus went out of use about two years ago, isolating many seniors in the Kitimat community.

Police investigate July 2 homicide in Houston

Man succumbed to injuries at Pearson Road residence

Water fights and food trucks: Kitimat residents celebrate Canada Day with sun and smiles

Celebrations still brought smiles and laughs, even if the day was a little different than usual

QUIZ: Put your knowledge of Canada to the test

How much do you know about our country?

13 new B.C. COVID-19 cases, Langley Lodge outbreak ends

Health care outbreaks down to four, 162 cases active

Alberta health minister orders review into response after noose found in hospital in 2016

A piece of rope tied into a noose was found taped to the door of an operating room at the Grande Prairie Hospital in 2016

B.C.’s major rivers surge, sparking flood warnings

A persistent low pressure system over Alberta has led to several days of heavy rain

B.C.’s Indigenous rights law faces 2020 implementation deadline

Pipeline projects carry on as B.C. works on UN goals

‘Mind boggling’: B.C. man $1 million richer after winning Lotto 6/49 a second time

David O’Brien hopes to use his winnings to travel and of course keep playing the lottery

Community infrastructure funding announced for 24 Northern B.C. projects

Recipients include municipalities, First Nations and not-for-profits

B.C. teacher loses licence after sexual relationships with two recently-graduated students

The teacher won’t be allowed to apply for a teaching certificate until 2035

Lower Mainland teacher facing child pornography charges

Elazar Reshef, 52, has worked in the Delta School District

Most Read