​B.C. government awards geothermal permit to Fort Nelson First Nation

The Fort Nelson First Nation has secured rights to explore and assess the geothermal potential of the mature Clarke Lake gas field. Image: Geoscience B.C/Associated Engineering

The B.C. government has awarded a permit to the Fort Nelson First Nation to advance a geothermal energy project with the potential to produce clean, renewable electricity for people in the Fort Nelson area.

“Fort Nelson is not connected to B.C.’s electricity grid, so geothermal energy could replace power currently generated from fossil fuels or imported from Alberta,” said Bruce Ralston, minister of energy, mines and petroleum resources. “This permit gives the Fort Nelson First Nation the certainty it needs to attract investment and move forward with developing a geothermal energy project that will reduce climate pollution while creating new jobs and opportunities.”

The permit grants geothermal resource rights (tenure) to Deh Tai GP Inc., a development company of the Fort Nelson First Nation. The rights will be for 25 parcels of land, totalling about 6,800 hectares, in the mature Clarke Lake gas field near Fort Nelson. With tenure secured, Deh Tai can apply to the BC Oil and Gas Commission (OGC) for well authorizations to conduct exploratory drilling to assess geothermal potential.

Under CleanBC, the province is working in collaboration with Indigenous peoples to seize new clean energy and economic development opportunities.

“With the Clarke Lake Geothermal Project, Fort Nelson First Nation is proudly demonstrating Indigenous leadership that will help pave the way for Western Canada’s transition toward a cleaner and more energy secure future,” said Chief Sharleen Gale, Fort Nelson First Nation. “We look forward to continuing to work with our federal and provincial partners to make this project a model success that benefits our community members and the surrounding territory.”

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