Selective focus on the hands of a professional male electrician installing solar panels working on alternative energy sources farm clean green environment friendly energy modern technology.

Selective focus on the hands of a professional male electrician installing solar panels working on alternative energy sources farm clean green environment friendly energy modern technology.

Westbank First Nation building solar rooftop for local school

WFN wants to demonstrate the viability of clean energy

With a $150,000 equity investment from the province, Westbank First Nation aims to build a solar farm rooftop on it’s community school.

Funding is provided through B.C.’s First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund (FNCEBF), which supports Indigenous communities in their efforts to pursue clean-energy projects. The FNCEBF supports CleanBC, the province’s plan to build a cleaner future that creates opportunities for all British Columbians while protecting B.C.’s clean air, land and water.

“The Sensisyusten school solar installation is an important pilot project for Westbank First Nation to demonstrate successful clean energy in our community core and to continue to build upon that success with future renewable projects,” said Westbank First Nation Chief Roxanne Lindley.

“Our community supports innovative projects like using the space on our school to harness the energy of the sun for electricity. Having support of the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund was helpful in finding the resources to make that happen.”

READ MORE: B.C. premier wants to move quickly on national park

The solar power generated from the roof farm means the Senisyusten House of Learning Elementary school can offset utility costs by an estimated $12,000 annually. The system will be connected to BC Hydro’s distribution system and be part of the utility’s net metering program.

WFN expanded and renovated the school to support the solar installation and established a clean energy building fund. It is expected the project will be complete by late summer 2019.

“Whether solar, wind or other clean-energy sources, the replacement of diesel generation with clean energy through these projects will help us use less fossil fuels while generating new economic activity, new jobs and building our clean economy,” said Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy George Heyman.

“It’s important that the opportunities of our CleanBC plan are accessible to all British Columbians. That’s how rural and Indigenous communities can share in a more prosperous, balanced and sustainable future.”

Since 2010, more than 110 First Nations have benefited from more than $10 million in funding.

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