​Alberta increases funding to support renewable energy in Indigenous communities

The Government of Alberta announced on Monday a $15 million bump in funding available for Indigenous communities to invest in renewable energy projects, energy efficiency audits and training for jobs in a low-carbon economy.

Due to the high level of interest, funding has increased from $35 million to nearly $50 million, the province said, adding this will mean that more Indigenous communities and organizations will be able to participate.

Last year, project proposals received exceed the budget of the seven programs that Alberta has established supporting renewable energy in Indigenous communities.

“We have heard loud and clear from Indigenous communities that these programs work which is why we have chosen to increase funding,” Minister of Indigenous Relations Richard Feehan said in a statement.

“There is tremendous interest in this program. Last year, 125 projects in 66 Indigenous communities or organizations were completed and we expect the number of projects to rise this year.”

Enoch Cree First Nation Chief William Morin called Alberta’s programs “a true treaty approach to collaboration.”

The federal government provided $7 million to the province for these initiatives, which it will use this year and next to boost funding for the Alberta Indigenous Solar Program and Alberta Indigenous Energy Efficiency (Retrofit) Program.