Minister Vandal announces clean energy investments in five Nunavut communities

Jimmys Post

BAKER LAKE, NU, March 15, 2023 /CNW/ – Across the country, Indigenous-led clean energy projects are growing local economies and creating good jobs, all while fighting climate change. By adopting clean energy alternatives, communities are protecting their land and water, increasing economic opportunities, and improving their health and wellbeing. The Government of Canada is investing in these projects to help reduce the use of costly diesel, advance self-determination, and ensure cleaner air and a brighter future for everyone.

Today, in Baker Lake, Nunavut, the Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs and Minister responsible for PrairiesCan and CanNor, announced investments in clean energy projects in five communities across Nunavut through the Northern REACHE Program. The communities of Arctic Bay, Clyde River, Pond Inlet, Whale Cove, and the most northerly community in Canada, Grise Fiord, will receive over $4.1 million to integrate solar power:

    • Arctic Bay Solar, 120 kilowatts – $780,000
    • Clyde River Solar, 100 kilowatts – $766,700
    • Pond Inlet Solar, 150 kilowatts – $1,000,000
    • Whale Cove Solar, 120 kilowatts – $754,592
    • Grise Fiord Solar, 110 kilowatts – $807,000

The importance of the projects to these communities cannot be understated – they are a meaningful step in their transition to clean energy. These solar energy systems will create jobs, improve local air quality, and displace 180,000 litres of fuel per year, helping Nunavut to meet its 2030 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target, and generate thousands of dollars annually for the communities.

The Northern REACHE Program supports Indigenous and northern communities in reducing their dependence on diesel fuel for electricity and heating through clean energy technologies such as solar, wind, hydroelectricity, biomass heating, energy efficiency, and related capacity-building initiatives.


“The community of Arctic Bay and its residents care about clean energy, climate change and the environment. With the installation of the 120 kW solar system, the community will own its own clean-energy power source with no noise, no emissions, and no vibrations. Clean electricity generation is crucial in reducing diesel use, which will benefit the environment and provide cost savings for the community.”

Mayor Moses Oyukuluk

Hamlet of Arctic Bay

“Federal support for Clyde River’s installation of solar panels means we will be reducing diesel fuel use, easing tensions on the utility’s engines, reducing carbon emissions, and reducing the cost of energy for the municipality. Renewable energy has a positive impact for those living in the northernmost communities in the Arctic, as well as municipal, territorial and federal governments. By installing these solar panels, all the power created will be used for the arena and the community hall, and power that is not used will be sent back to the grid. This funding is extremely great news for the people of Clyde River, Nunavut, and we appreciate the federal government for supporting small communities.”

Jerry Natanine, Senior Administrative Officer

Municipality of Clyde River

Pond Inlet strongly supports clean energy. The large solar system, to be installed by Green Sun Rising, will be connected under Qulliq Energy Corporation’s Commercial and Institutional Power Producer program. It will reduce the amount of diesel fuel required in Pond Inlet and provide a step toward self-reliance and autonomy from diesel and its associated costs and environmental hazards in the North.”

David Stockley, Chief Administrative Officer

Municipality of Pond Inlet

“The solar panels going on our arena are more than welcome in our community. Not only will they lower our energy consumption and dependence on diesel fuel but will also lower our production of greenhouse gas and aid in reducing global warming.”

Mayor Percy Kabloona

Hamlet of Whale Cove

“The Hamlet of Grise Fiord is extremely pleased to receive funding from Northern REACHE for a 100kW solar project to build on the existing 10 kW installation.

The community, as the northernmost fully inhabited population in North America, is keen to take advantage of energy savings and reduced emissions that will create a revenue stream and a sustainable economic future.”

Mayor Meeka Kiguktak

Hamlet of Grise Fiord

“These five Inuit communities are among a growing list who are leading the way in the energy transition. Inuit communities, which are experiencing some of the harshest impacts of climate change, know how best to address the challenges they face. We’re proud to support these projects led by the North, for the North.”

The Honourable Dan Vandal, P.C., M.P.

Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister responsible for PrairiesCan and CanNor

Quick facts
  • The Hamlet of Arctic Bay’s 120 kW solar PV system will be located on the community arena. It will reduce 83,160 kg of GHG per year, and 31,500 litres per year of diesel, while generating more than $44,000 in revenue for the hamlet. The initiative will create important jobs to support the ongoing operation and maintenance of the system.
  • The Municipality of Clyde River’s 110 kW solar PV system project, to be completed within three years, will reduce GHG emissions by approximately 100,000 kg per year, help reduce diesel consumption by 38,000 litres per year, and generate revenue estimated at $32,878 per year. The initiative will create important jobs to support the ongoing operation and maintenance of the system.
  • Pond Inlet’s 150 kW solar PV system for the community hall will be installed over the next two years, and once complete will reduce 85,300 kg per year of GHG, eliminate 38,000 litres per year of diesel, and generate up to $52,900 in revenue annually. The initiative will create important jobs to support the ongoing operation and maintenance of the system.
  • The Hamlet of Whale Cove is installing a 120 kW solar PV system on the Peter Ongashimna Arena during the next two years. When completed, the system will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 91,000 kg per year, save 35,000 litres per year of diesel, and generate revenue for the hamlet. Also, two community members will be hired and trained during the system installation.
  • The hamlet of Grise Fiord, the northernmost community in Canada, is installing a 100 kW solar PV system project to be constructed over the next three years. The project will avoid approximately 94,000 kg per year of GHG emissions, reduce diesel consumption by 38,000 litres per year, and generate annual revenues of $30,000 per year.
  • In April 2022, the Government of Canada announced the creation of a single-window initiative, newly named Wah-ila-toos, to help Indigenous communities better access resources and clean energy funding. As part of the new service model, the government also established the Indigenous Council to provide guidance and advice on project selection and policy development.
  • Supporting Indigenous leadership and action on climate change to reduce reliance on fossil fuels in Northern and Arctic communities is central to advancing the reconciliation journey and self-determination.
  • Launched in 2019 and developed with Indigenous representatives and six territorial and provincial governments, Canada’s Arctic and Northern Policy Framework is a long-term vision for the Arctic and the North to reflect the priorities and perspectives of Arctic and northern people.
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SOURCE Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

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