Indigenous communities leading Canada’s clean energy boom

Indigenous communities leading Canada’s clean energy boom

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Cowessess’ $21-million Awasis solar project connects to Saskatchewan’s electricity grid and is capable of powering 2,500 homes annually, on average. Over its 35-year estimatedlife, the solar farm is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 350,000 tonnes — in total, equivalent to the emissions of over 70,000 gas-powered cars driven for one year.

The Awasis solar farm is also an example of many Indigenous-led clean energy projects blossoming right now from coast to coast.

Others include the First Nations-owned Meadow Lake Tribal Council Bioenergy Centre, also in Saskatchewan, which will generate carbon-neutral green power using lumber waste from nearby sawmills. In Nova Scotia, the Membertou, Paqtnkek and Potlotek First Nations are equity partners in what is expected to be North America’s first green hydrogen and green ammonia project. And in Ontario, the recently-approved Oneida energy storage project, the largest battery storage project in Canada, is being developed in partnership with the Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corp.

A 2020 report by national not-for-profit organization Indigenous Clean Energy Social Enterprise identified 197 medium-to-large renewable energy generating projects with Indigenous involvement, either in operation or in the final stages of planning and construction.

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