Green Energy Development program supporting First Nations across Ontario | Media.Knet.Ca

Green Energy Development program supporting First Nations across Ontario

Submitter Name: 
Brian Beaton
Submitters Email: 
brianbeaton@knet.ca

Support for First Nation and Métis Communities in Green Energy Development - McGuinty Government Initiatives Will Create Green Jobs, Spur Economic Development

September 03, 2009

Ontario is launching two new programs for First Nations and Métis communities interested in developing and owning renewable energy facilities, such as wind, solar and hydroelectric. These initiatives will create jobs and stimulate economic development as well as offer a guaranteed and sustained long term revenue stream. 

Under the $250 million Aboriginal Loan Guarantee Program, Aboriginal communities will be eligible for loan guarantees that will allow them to take on equity participation in renewable generation and transmission projects. The program will facilitate Aboriginal ownership in energy projects by providing loan guarantees for up to 75 per cent of an Aboriginal corporation’s equity in an eligible project.

Ontario is also launching an Aboriginal Energy Partnerships Program to maximize participation in renewable energy projects. This initiative will build capacity and participation by providing funds for community energy plans, fund for feasibility studies, technical research and developing business cases and create an Aboriginal Renewable Energy Network.

Aboriginal communities will also be eligible, under certain conditions, for price incentives as part of the Feed-in Tariff program.

Together, these initiatives will assist First Nation and Métis communities to unlock vast renewable energy resources by providing the knowledge and financial support to begin building economically viable projects. Providing economic opportunities through green energy development is a cornerstone of Ontario’s Green Energy Act. It also establishes Ontario’s place as North America’s Renewable Energy leader, with over 50,000 jobs expected in the next three years as projects get underway.

Over the next several weeks, the Ontario government will take ten important steps to bring the Green Energy Act to life. These milestones will help transition the province to electricity generated from green energy, which will create jobs and open investment opportunities in Ontario’s green economy. These two Aboriginal programs are steps two and three.

QUOTES

“Ontario is committed to a Green energy future, one in which all of us can take part. Green energy can create long-term revenues and employment opportunities for First Nation and Métis communities. Working together, Aboriginal communities, with other investors and the government can unleash valuable renewable energy resources. ”
- George Smitherman, Deputy Premier and Minister of Energy and Infrastructure

“The Chippewas of Georgina Island look forward to completing the development of the Pukwis Wind Farm with the support of these initiatives. The Loan Guarantee Program demonstrates Ontario’s commitment to First Nation partnerships in green energy projects. Our 20 MW Wind Farm will deliver clean energy to the grid and provide a sustainable revenue source for our community – promoting jobs and opportunities for our members.”
- Chief Donna Big Canoe, Chippewas of Georgina Island

“By providing loan guarantees and facilitating viable partnerships for Green Energy projects, the province is supporting the kind of economic development within Métis communities that provides a solid foundation on which to build a self-reliant nation that personifies the values of conservation and respect for the land that are the hallmarks of Métis tradition and culture.”
- Gary Lipiniski, President, Métis Nation of Ontario

“This will give Aboriginal communities support and resources to participate in, and benefit from, new renewable energy projects. The economic opportunities will help improve the socio-economic conditions of Aboriginal people in Ontario.”
- Brad Duguid, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs

QUICK FACTS

  • Ontario has already brought approximately 1,000 megawatts of new renewable energy on-line since October 2003.
  • The $250 million Aboriginal Loan Guarantee Program is part to the 2009 Ontario budget.
  • A number of Aboriginal partnerships in renewable energy development are now in place or are in planning stages.
  • Lac Seul First Nation has 25 per cent ownership in a new hydroelectric plant built by OPG.

LEARN MORE

Amy Tang, Minister’s Office, 416-327-6747
Eric Pelletier, Communications Branch 416-325-1810

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NAN Press Release

NAN Welcomes Aboriginal Loan Guarantee Program

THUNDER BAY, ON, - Sept. 4 - Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief Stan Beardy welcomes Ontario's plan to create jobs for the north in the renewable energy sector through its announcement of an Aboriginal Loan Guarantee Program.

"Today's announcement is a welcomed first step in creating an environment that will allow our First Nations to become proponents in power development both as developers and owners of transmission lines as well as of local power generation in and around their communities," said Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Stan Beardy. "However, we need to ensure proposed First Nations energy programs can be viable. To do that we will need to see the creation of sound loan guarantees; a remote feed-in tariff that recognizes remote costs and the inclusion of grant-based resourcing for capital needs to the loan guarantee program before it can be truly effective, otherwise our First Nations will not qualify for the loans."

Beardy also said it is essential that First Nations be involved in development of the application and review process before it is made available in the fall of 2009.

"We truly welcome the effort made by the ministry to create an inclusive environment in the energy sector and we look forward to working with Minister Smitherman to see that this occurs," Beardy said, noting there are several major energy projects that First Nations are currently in the early stages of developing. "The projects being considered are transformative in that they will finally result in affordable energy for communities and because First Nations can have a stake in the energy sector as entrepreneurs. This announcement can also increase the potential realization of those long discussed all-weather roads."

Beardy is looking forward to meeting with the province to further discuss the program.

Nishnawbe Aski Nation is a political territorial organization representing 49 First Nation communities in James Bay Treaty 9 and the Ontario portion of Treaty 5 - an area covering two thirds of the province of Ontario.

For further information: Joyce Hunter, A/Director of Communications - Nishnawbe Aski Nation, (807) 625-4952