The government is now accepting applications until the end of January for the first round of funding from the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund (FNCEBF) to support greater participation in the clean energy sector.
In 2015, a total of $1.358 million was invested in 14 First Nations new clean energy projects and as of year-end, the government has entered into 39 clean energy revenue sharing agreements with 31 First Nations.
The Snuneymuxw First Nation received $30,000 in 2015 to undertake an energy and emissions plan for its community. The plan will create awareness in the community of its energy footprint and provide advice to reduce energy use in homes and other buildings. The funding helps to reduce the cost of hydro on the reserve.
From small, run-of-river hydro projects and community energy planning, to reducing diesel and propane use and exploring ocean thermal power, First Nations are developing innovative, clean green energy projects throughout B.C. with support from the fund.
Since the inception of the fund, more than $8.21 million including the initial appropriation of $5 million and $3.21 million in provincial revenues from water and land rents has been shared with First Nations.
The scope of the fund has been expanded this year and now includes equity investments to implement high-efficiency heating technologies. The installation of small-scale wind or biomass or other renewable energy technologies that will provide load displacement in the community are examples that the FNCEBF will fund. Capacity funding has also been expanded and can now be applied to certain types of training including solar and insulation installation, draft proofing, ventilation and energy efficient home and building design.
The B.C. First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund aims to promote increased First Nations participation in the clean-energy sector through:
Up to $500,000 in equity funding for First Nations to invest in clean energy projects and to help communities attract further investment.
Up to $150,000 in equity funding to support small-scale, heat electrical production, energy management and efficiency projects.
Up to $50,000 in capacity-development funding to support First Nations with community-energy planning, feasibility studies or engagement with private-sector proponents of clean energy projects and training.
Revenue-sharing from eligible, new clean energy projects based on revenues from water and land rents.
Funding for clean energy projects and agreements is part of the Province’s commitment to reconciliation with First Nations. This includes ensuring more nations are involved in economic opportunities that make their communities and the rest of the province stronger.
Since 2011, the B.C. government has invested more than $6.8 million through the FNCEBF to support First Nations participation in clean energy projects for 116 Aboriginal communities.