Alberta has partnered with Paul First Nation to make energy bills more affordable and create local jobs.
With support from Alberta’s Indigenous Climate Leadership programs, the First Nation will:
- Upgrade the energy efficiency of six housing units.
- Develop a long-term energy plan to help the Nation reduce energy needs and greenhouse gas emissions.
- Increase their community’s knowledge and awareness of climate change.
- Support the technical development stage for a commercially viable 25-megawatt solar farm.
“These climate leadership programs are making life better and more affordable for Indigenous peoples and communities. With this support, communities are able to take real action on climate change, with tangible results. The Paul First Nation is a great example of a community on a journey to strengthen the economy and protect our shared environment.”
~Richard Feehan, Minister of Indigenous Relations
“Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan involves significant efforts to diversify and expand the available supply of renewable energy in the province. The phasing out of coal within Alberta provides a significant change to the Paul First Nation with economic uncertainty. At the Paul First Nation, we may not be the first community to be involved in this new energy market, but we will certainly provide our community and future generations the knowledge to succeed in renewable energy projects. We are very excited to be developing a 25-megawatt solar farm on reserve; this would be the first of its kind in Western Canada. In addition to providing economic sovereignty for our Nation, we have researched developers and their projects to partner and compete in Alberta’s Renewable Electricity Program. We are seeking other First Nations to enter a partnership with us, to invest in this opportunity.”
~Aaron Bird, councillor, Paul First Nation
As a result of the grant, the community will be able to increase its energy efficiency and continue to find new and long-term ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lower its energy bills. Through energy efficiency upgrades to the housing units, the Nation will save 505 GJ of energy each year, with a lifetime energy savings of 15,150 GJ. They will also keep 34 tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere.
The Paul First Nation is receiving funding through the Alberta Indigenous Energy Efficiency (Retrofit) Program ($193,200), the Alberta Indigenous Climate Planning Program ($98,600), the Alberta Indigenous Climate Capacity Program ($47,408), and the Alberta Indigenous Green Energy Development Program ($407,600).
The grants are part of $35 million in funding available last fiscal year through various streams to meet the needs of Indigenous communities tackling climate change. Panel discussions, dialogue with Indigenous leaders, workshops and feedback from two successful pilot programs helped inform the development of the programs.
These initiatives support the Alberta government’s commitment to implement the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.