Ulkatcho First Nation to Build Canada's Largest Off-Grid Solar Project

Ulkatcho First Nation in BC to build Canada's largest off-grid solar project, reducing diesel use by 64% and powering 350 homes, showcasing renewable energy's potential for remote communities.

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Sakchi Khandelwal
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Ulkatcho First Nation to Build Canada's Largest Off-Grid Solar Project

Ulkatcho First Nation to Build Canada's Largest Off-Grid Solar Project

The Ulkatcho First Nation in Anahim Lake, British Columbia, is set to build what the federal government says will likely be the largest off-grid solar project in Canada. The project will receive nearly $16 million in federal and provincial funding and is expected to reduce the community's reliance on diesel generation by about 64%, equivalent to 1.1 million liters of diesel annually.

The 3.8-megawatt solar power plant will be built by the Ulkatcho Energy Corporation. BC Hydro will purchase the solar energy through a Community Electricity Purchase Agreement and integrate it into the power lines and a battery storage system to serve the community. The project is anticipated to generate enough electricity to power approximately 350 homes in the remote community, which currently relies on diesel-generated power.

Why this matters: This project constitutes a meaningful advancement towards energy independence and sustainability for the Ulkatcho First Nation. It also showcases the potential for renewable energy to reduce reliance on fossil fuels in remote communities across Canada.

The federal government is investing $11,880,750 through the Green Infrastructure Stream, while the Government of British Columbia is investing $2,376,150. The Ulkatcho First Nation is contributing $818,300, and the Community Energy Diesel Reduction grant is contributing $765,800.

Chief Lynda Price of the Ulkatcho First Nation expressed the community's excitement about the project, stating, "Our community's vision is to be a leader in clean energy and to inspire other Indigenous communities to do the same. This solar project will create local jobs, reduce our carbon footprint, and bring us one step closer to our goal of becoming a net-zero community."

The Ulkatcho First Nation's off-grid solar project is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, and increase the community's energy independence. The project, with a combined investment of $15,841,000 from the federal and provincial governments, is an important part of reconciliation and ensuring a cleaner, better future for the Ulkatcho First Nation and other Indigenous communities in Canada.

Key Takeaways

  • Ulkatcho First Nation in BC to build Canada's largest off-grid solar project.
  • Project to receive $16M in federal and provincial funding, reduce diesel use by 64%.
  • 3.8MW solar plant to power ~350 homes, reducing GHG emissions and increasing energy independence.
  • Project showcases potential for renewable energy in remote Canadian communities.
  • Ulkatcho First Nation aims to be a leader in clean energy and inspire other Indigenous communities.