The ferry service to Metlakatla may be modernized after the North Coast community receives funding for a feasibility study on an electric or hydrogen ferry. (Submitted photo)

Two North Coast communities to receive portion of $486,000

Metlakatla First Nation and Heiltsuk First Nation to receive funding for clean energy projects

Two North Coast First Nation communities are going to receive a portion of $486,000 for clean energy projects from the British Columbia Indigenous Clean Energy Initiative (BCICEI).

The $39,000 provided to Metlakatla First Nation will be used for an electric or hydrogen ferry feasibility study, and $150,000 is going to the Heiltsuk Tribal Council in Bella Bella for a new heat pump installation. The balance of the funds will go to two Vancouver Island communities.

The Aug. 17 announcement by the Ministry of Energy, Mines and and Petroleum Resources said funding from the BCICEI supports the planning of clean energy generation projects, such as hydro, wind, biomass, solar, marine and geothermal projects.

READ MORE: New ferry to be built for route between Kitkatla and Prince Rupert

Among its target communities, BCICEI specifically seeks to assist remote communities wherever possible in reducing dependency on fossil fuels with energy efficiency projects and energy storage also being a focus.

“Our government is working in partnership to cultivate more economic opportunities in clean technology, while improving energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” Jennifer Rice, MLA for North Coast said.

“As part of our CleanBC plan, this investment will support First Nations communities in their transition to cleaner energy sources,” Rice said.

READ MORE: $750K for Metlakatla erosion control

Bruce Ralston, B.C.’s Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, said through CleanBC, the Ministry is collaborating with New Relationship Trust and Western Economic Diversification Canada on the British Columbia Indigenous Clean Energy Initiative (BCICEI) to support First Nations-led clean energy and energy efficiency projects.

“Together, we are providing important funding to Indigenous communities throughout B.C. to develop projects that will help them achieve energy independence, support economic development and reduce reliance on diesel,” Ralston said.


 
K-J Millar | Journalist 
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