BC Hydro Greenlights Energy Purchase Agreement for Tŝilhqot’in Solar Farm

The Tŝilhqot’in National Government (TNG) applauds BC Hydro for its recent plan to pursue power purchase agreement negotiations with the Tŝilhqot’in Solar Farm (TSF). Located within the Tŝilhqot’in territory, once completed, the TSF will be the first large-scale solar power plant owned and operated by a First Nation in Western Canada. While producing power for BC, this 1.25 MWdc solar photovoltaic farm will help to enrich the local economy.

There are numerous expected outcomes of the TSF. These include generation of clean energy, redevelopment of a closed sawmill and adjacent brownfield site, support to local communities, and creation of employment and business opportunities. Through the purchase of power generated from the TSF, the electricity purchase agreement (EPA) will ensure the success of the TSF through the final implementation stage and future years while in operation.

The Nation would like to thank the hard work and dedication of Chief Russell Myers Ross along with his community of Yunesit’in in pursuing and leading this project. The Nation would also like to thank EcoSmart for its many contributions to this endeavor.

“I have been fortunate to participate on this initiative for the past four years with a dedicated team, and I am looking forward to the construction date this summer,” said Chief Russell Myers Ross, vice-chair, Tŝilhqot’in National Government. “The solar farm is a chance to build infrastructure that will benefit the region by strengthening the hydro line and providing revenue to the Tŝilhqot’in communities.

“There has been a lot of work put into this project over the past four years, from feasibility to design, financing and working with BC Hydro towards implementation. The solar farm is significant as it will be owned and operated by the Tŝilhqot’in Nation and will become own-source-revenue to support the communities’ economic aspirations in the future.”

Chief Joe Alphonse, tribal chairman, Tŝilhqot’in National Government, said, “Since having our Aboriginal title recognized we have been looking for diverse opportunities within our territory. The development and operation of this solar farm is not only useful for the area, but also brings employment and training to our Nation.

“As a Nation we have always said that to do business with us you need to come through our doors and sit at the table in a meaningful way,” said Alphonse.“The solar farm is a great example of that.”

Michel de Spot, president and CEO of EcoSmart said solar energy is the fastest growing and most promising technology in the world.

“Building the largest solar photovoltaic system in BC makes the Tŝilhqot’in Nation de facto leaders in cleantech development,” said de Spot.

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