First Power Solar Project: Clean Energy for First Nations Communities
Today at the 2009 Solar Conference, the Government of Canada announced an investment of up to $1 million in the First Power solar project through its ecoENERGY for Renewable Heat program. In addition to the federal government's commitment, First Power is also being supported by Solar BC and several financial institutions, including the All Nations Trust Company.
The First Power project will support the installation of domestic solar water heating systems in up to 900 homes, with a focus on remote First Nations communities.
First Power, which will leverage millions of dollars in additional funding to complete its projects, is a partnership between Taylor Munro Energy Systems and the Centre for Integral Economics. This unique hybrid business is designed to support First Nations communities to gain access to and ownership of renewable energy and clean technologies. The project intends to replace diesel power generation by energy systems that deliver all the heat, light and power a community requires through renewables.
Making the announcement on behalf of Minister Lisa Raitt was Senator Linda Frum, who declared: "This investment will generate new economic activity in First Nations communities, while reducing energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions [...] Investing in projects like this will stimulate the growth of a domestic clean energy industry, create high-quality jobs for Canadians and help protect our environment."
Donna Morton, President of the Centre for Integral Economics added: "We believe that First Nations can take ownership of renewable energy and clean technology systems through orally taught training [...] Autonomous energy can give First Nations in Canada both a leading role in building green collar jobs and economic development that respects ancestors, elders and the future."