GULL BAY FN – Kiashke Zaaging Anishinaabek (KZA) / Gull Bay First Nation (GBFN) and Ontario Power Generation (OPG) are co-developing a microgrid that will use solar, battery storage and grid technology to help reduce diesel use at KZA.
“The Kiashke Zaaging Anishinaabek solar microgrid project reflects our peoples’ connection with the Land, and our responsibility as Caretakers on behalf of all living things for Seven Generations. The microgrid project is a game-changer – as Canada’s first fully-integrated solar energy-storage system in a remote community. Through KZA’s ownership of the microgrid, we shall replace thousands of liters of dirty diesel fuel with clean solar power, and would be honoured to share our experience with off-grid Indigenous communities across Canada. KZA expresses deep appreciation to project partners: OPG, the Ontario and Canadian governments for supporting a clean energy future. Chi miigwetch,” says Chief Wilfred N. King.
The microgrid will integrate renewable solar generation, battery storage, and microgrid control technology with diesel generators that currently supply the community’s entire energy needs. This project will reduce diesel use in the by approximately 110,000 litres each year which equates to approximately 340 tonnes of CO2 emissions avoided annually.
OPG will manage the contractors and oversee the development, design, procurement, regulatory processes, construction, integration, and commissioning of the microgrid. Construction is expected to start in the spring of 2018 and be complete by the end of the year. Once operational, KZA will own and operate the microgrid.
“OPG is proud to co-develop this innovative micro-grid with Gull Bay First Nation which will help reduce the use of diesel generation in the community and integrate renewable solar generation. By working together with the community, this project will provide a long-term energy supply solution that is both reliable and environmentally sustainable,” comments Jeff Lyash, OPG President, and CEO.
“Providing First Nations with a clean and reliable supply of energy is a priority for the Ontario government. I applaud the partnership between Ontario Power Generation, the province’s largest energy provider, and Gull Bay First Nation to build an advanced renewable microgrid that will provide Gull Bay First Nation with a clean supply of electricity. The microgrid will reduce Gull Bay First Nation’s reliance on diesel power generation and is already creating job opportunities for the community,” said Glenn Thibeault, Ontario’s Minister of Energy.
“Our government is committed to helping improve the quality of life and supporting economic development opportunities in remote First Nations communities. Through our NOHFC investment of $2.5 million in a sustainable micro-grid power system, Gull Bay First Nation will reduce its dependency on diesel generators, which will benefit the health of residents, lead to job creation locally and a cleaner environment for everyone,” states Michael Gravelle, Ontario’s Minister of Northern Development and Mines, Chair of NOHFC, and MPP Thunder Bay-Superior North.