Community Energy

There are several types of community-led energy projects underway in BC.

Many community-scale projects involve the greening of remote community grids, which are wholly reliant on costly and polluting diesel generation. The Remote Community Energy Network, a collaborative effort between the BC government, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, BC Hydro and the First Nations Technology Council, support remote communities to implement community energy initiatives. In addition, the BC First Nation Clean Energy Business Fund provides capacity development funding, grants to acquire equity positions in clean energy projects and share in the revenues of clean projects built in traditional territories and treaty areas. The T’Sou-ke First Nation, for example, currently owns and operates a 75 kW solar array – the largest community solar project in the province.

BC Hydro has established a Sustainable Communities Program, which offers expertise and financial incentives for variety of services. The Community Energy Association also provides support and resources to local governments in developing community energy plans.

Although the co-operative business model is still relatively new to energy generation in BC, a handful of renewable energy co-operatives have emerged:

  • The Peace Energy Cooperative initiated the development of the 102 MW Bear Mountain Wind Park in Dawson Creek in partnership with Aeolis Wind Power Corp. and Altas Gas Income Trust – the province’s first commercial wind project.
  • GabEnergy of Gabriola Island, B.C. is a registered non-profit co-op focused on facilitating the development of solar PV and solar hot water technologies in BC communities.

 

Image attribution: “Revelstoke Unit 5” by BC Gov Photos is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

 

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