Cold Lake First Nations will install solar energy panels on five of its buildings this fall with funding from Alberta’s Indigenous Solar Program.
The project is the result of a new provincial grant program designed to help Indigenous communities reduce their energy bills, create local jobs and participate in the emerging green economy.
“The Alberta Indigenous Solar Program is making life better and more affordable for Indigenous people and communities. Cold Lake First Nations will save approximately $6,000 on utility bills each year, reduce more than 1,305 tonnes of GHGs and save nearly $150,000 on utilities over the 25-year life of the solar panels. Our government is proud to support this project and the First Nation’s rich history of environmental leadership.”
“Cold Lake First Nations is proud to begin a journey towards a lower-carbon economy in partnership with the province. All levels of government have a duty to protect the lands under the treaty, and climate change is a clear and present danger. Climate change threatens our lands, water, fish, plants and ultimately our entire livelihood, and we must all come together to solve the problem. We know these measures will not only assist with climate change overall but will also help improve the quality of life for the Elders on whose roofs these panels sit.”
The solar panel project will receive a grant of approximately $200,000. Cold Lake First Nations will contribute nearly $50,000 to the project.
Up to $35 million in grant funding is available through various streams, including the Indigenous Solar Program, to meet the needs of Indigenous communities in tackling climate change. Panel discussions, dialogue with Indigenous leaders, workshops and feedback from two successful pilot projects helped inform the new programs.
These initiatives support the Alberta government’s commitment to implement the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.