Government supports green energy in northern communities

February 10, 2021

By: The Working Forest Staff

OTTAWA, ON, CNW– The Government of Canada is working with partners to reduce northern communities’ reliance on diesel for heating and electricity by increasing the use of local renewable energy sources and improving energy efficiency.

Today, the Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, and Michael McLeod, Member of Parliament for Northwest Territories, announced that the Northern Responsible Energy Approach for Community Heat and Electricity Program (Northern REACHE) has provided $88,000 to Nihtat Energy Limited to undertake a pre-feasibility study to assess the viability of developing biomass district energy systems in Inuvik.

By supporting an emerging northern biomass industry, the Government is helping to create local jobs, accelerate the shift to clean energy and keep investments in the North by using local resources to build a regional economy. This will support healthier, more sustainable communities across the North and reduce Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions.

The Government of Canada has supported 108 projects, with an investment of $20.4 million, through its Northern Responsible Energy Approach for Community Heat and Electricity Program (Northern REACHE) since its inception in 2016-2017, to assist communities working to reduce their reliance on diesel fuel. These investments are part of Canada’s nearly $700 million commitment to help rural and remote communities get off diesel, through programs delivered by Natural Resources Canada and Infrastructure Canada.

Through Canada’s climate plan, the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, the Government is working with provinces, territories and Indigenous Peoples to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, build resilience to a changing climate, and support the transition to a clean growth economy.

“The Government of Canada understands the importance of working in partnership to tackle climate change. By supporting Nihtat Energy Limited in this project, we will reduce Northern communities’ reliance on diesel for heating by increasing the use of local renewable energy sources. This project will result in environmental, social and economic benefits that support healthier, more sustainable northern communities. True success comes from empowering communities in their decision-making and supporting their vision for a green future. These solutions and innovations must continue to be led by those working at the local level,” says The Honourable Daniel Vandal, P.C., M.P., Minister of Northern Affairs.

“Through supporting the advancement of cleaner energy in Northern communities, our government is demonstrating our commitment to a more sustainable future for the Northwest Territories,” says Michael McLeod, Member of Parliament for Northwest Territories.

“Nihtat Energy Ltd is committed to continuing to explore clean energy alternatives for the Beaufort Delta and working with other Indigenous organizations and northern stakeholders to create sustainable, environmentally responsible, and meaningful economic opportunities in the north,” says  Grant Sullivan, President Nihtat Energy Ltd.

Quick facts

  • CIRNAC’s climate change programs have invested over $130 million in 615 unique projects, of which $20.4 million has been delivered through Northern REACHE.
  • Nihtat Energy Limited’s pre-feasibility study will assess the viability of developing biomass district energy systems in Inuvik.
  • Biomass energy is a renewable alternative to heating oil for space heating.
  • District heating systems are an efficient and economical way to distribute heat from a centralized boiler system to multiple buildings and homes.

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