Canada Invests in Community-Led Solar Project in Ontario's Most Northern First Nation

FORT SEVERN, ON, April 5, 2022 /CNW/ – The Government of Canada is investing in community-led clean energy projects with Indigenous Peoples to develop innovative solutions that will displace fossil fuels and advance reconciliation and self-determination.

Today, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, announced an investment of over $865,000 to Fort Severn First Nation for a solar project to reduce the need for diesel-generated electricity and boost the reliability of energy systems in the remote northern Ontario community.

This project will also allow the community to lower its greenhouse gas emissions while creating health benefits and saving money. It will generate renewable electricity through a 290-kilovolt solar photovoltaic installation that is expected to reduce diesel consumption in the community by up to 400,000 litres annually.

Federal funding for this project is provided through Natural Resources Canada’s Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities program. The $220-million program strives to reduce reliance on diesel in rural and remote communities by deploying and demonstrating renewable energy projects, encouraging energy efficiency and building local skills and capacity. The program is part of the government’s Investing in Canada plan, a more than $180-billion investment in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes and Canada’s rural and northern communities.

Fort Severn First Nation, the Government of Ontario and Hedgehog Technologies also contributed to the project for a total investment of nearly $2.6 million.

Canada’s strengthened climate plan, A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy, ensures Canada will remain a world leader in clean power. Canada is investing an additional $300 million over five years to help rural, remote and Indigenous communities, currently reliant on fossil fuels, to transition to clean, reliable energy by 2030.

Quotes

“In remote communities that don’t have access to the larger energy grid, building clean energy capacity in the community is crucial to reducing dependence on fossil fuels. Their tireless efforts to find alternative solutions to replace their use of diesel with clean energy and to lessen their impact on the environment are a great example for us to follow.”

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson

Minister of Natural Resources Canada

“I am showing the world, if I can do this here, being so remote, we can do this anywhere.”

Fort Severn Chief Paul Burke

Fort Severn is a shining example of a community working together and providing strong leadership to overcome a challenging renewable energy project that will improve the quality of life for everyone. We’re excited for what tomorrow holds in Fort Severn as they take charge of their energy future.”

Dr. Michael Wrinch

President of Hedgehog Technologies

“Our government is committed to providing safe, reliable and affordable electricity in remote communities and across Ontario. We are proud to support this innovative clean energy project that will help deliver cost-effective electricity for the most northern First Nation in Ontario while reducing emissions.”

The Honourable Todd Smith

Minister of Energy (Ontario)

Related Information

Fort Severn First Nation

Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities program

Investing in Canada plan

A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy

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SOURCE Natural Resources Canada

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