​Alberta funds solar power for Beaver First Nation

Minister Richard Feehan, Chief Trevor Mercredi and Peace River MLA Debbie Jabbour and councilors in front of Beaver First Nation’s Administration office with new solar panels on roof. Image: Government of Alberta

A First Nations community north of Fort Vermillion, Alta. has installed new solar panels as part of Alberta’s Indigenous Solar Program.

With a $153,718 grant, Beaver First Nation has installed solar panels on their band office, daycare, two fire halls, community centre and carpentry shop.

The investment is expected to reduce utility costs by approximately $6,500 per year, as well as prevent about 800 tonnes of GHGs per year from entering the atmosphere.

“It was important to Beaver because of the impact it would have on our energy bills and also we wanted to prove that solar power can work here in northern Alberta,” Chief Trevor Mercredi said in a statement.

“We are big advocates of green energy and are very proud to participate in the Indigenous Climate Leadership Initiative with the province and we hope to see more projects like this in the future.”

The grant is part of $35 million in funding available in 2017-18 for Indigenous climate leadership programs that help Indigenous communities respond to climate change and provide greater energy security, the province says.