First Nation community on Vancouver Island to receive $4.1M for new hydro dam

First Nation community on Vancouver Island to receive $4.1M for new hydro dam
Province of BC
Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, Bruce Ralston seen in a file photo.

The Hesquiaht First Nation community in Clayoquot Sound is getting $4.1 million in funding for the 350-kilowatt Ah’ta’apq Creek Hydropower Project, a new hydro dam to harness power from the creek

The funding will be provided by the Province’s Renewable Energy for Remote Communities (RERC) program.

According to the provincial government, the project will “significantly reduce diesel use in the community’s power generation system.”

The RERC program is a part of the Province’s Remote Community Energy Strategy, announced in the CleanBC Plan. The strategy targets the 22 largest diesel generating stations in B.C.

“Under CleanBC, our goal is to reduce diesel consumption for power generation in remote communities by 80% by 2030,” Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, said in a statement.

“Clean, reliable and affordable hydroelectricity is B.C.’s number one strength in the fight against climate change.”

The $16.5-million RERC program is in place to help remote communities shift to renewable energy. It is administered on behalf of the Province by Coast Funds and the Fraser Basin Council

The Hesquiaht First Nation clean energy project is one of four to be funded to date under the RERC program. Work is expected to begin on the hydro dam this summer.

“The Hesquiaht First Nation would like to thank all funders for the opportunity to build a Hesquiaht First Nation micro-dam for our community,” Norma Bird, tribal administrator with the Hesquiaht First Nation said in a statement.

“This has been a long road travelled to get off the diesel generator that has been the only power source. It would also be nice to not have the pollution and noise in the community. Hesquiaht would like to thank past and present Chief and Council, Band Administrator, governments, organizations and community for supporting this renewable source of power. Hesquiaht will continue to pursue clean renewable sources of energy for its community.”

The province said the micro dam will help the community cut about 20,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.


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