THUNDER BAY – Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and Minister responsible for FedNor has announced an investment of $2,715,000 to create a renewable-energy micro-grid development company aimed at providing energy solutions for off-grid and remote First Nation communities.
“The Government of Canada recognizes that a clean environment and a strong economy go hand-in-hand, and both are needed to ensure our future prosperity. This targeted investment is vital to improving social conditions and building a strong economy in northern, remote and First Nation communities,” stated Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and Minister responsible for FedNor.
“We are committed to investing in clean technology to encourage economic growth, tackle environmental challenges and create jobs. This initiative will enable remote, Northern Ontario First Nation communities to develop energy plans that work for them, pay for themselves over time, and ultimately, represent significant cost savings,” added Patty Hajdu, Minister of Status of Women and Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay—Superior North.
“This project represents an important step forward for many of our communities and will enable us to manage our energy consumption and conservation more efficiently. We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Government of Canada that is helping us find an innovation solution that not only will address our energy needs, provide a sustainable revenue stream, and create jobs, but will be a clean alternative,” commented Geordi Kakepetum, Chief Executive Officer, NCC Development LP.
The FedNor investment will enable NCC Development Corporation LP, with the assistance of Canadian Solar Solutions Inc., to develop the structure of the organization, as well as its operational and technical capacity to work directly with First Nations and to ensure long-term, sustainable revenues. NCC Development Corporation LP plans to roll out its renewable-energy solutions to off-grid and remote communities across Canada, many of which have diesel plants that are running at or near capacity. In addition, NCC will pursue business on international markets.
According to a report released by the Ontario Power Association, more than half of the 28 remote First Nations in Northwestern Ontario will reach their maximum electrical load by 2017.
The funding announced today is provided through FedNor’s Northern Ontario Development Program, which supports projects that promote sustainable community economic development, enhance business development and growth, and facilitate innovation.