Ontario Boosts Support for Indigenous-Led Renewable Energy Projects

The electrification of the north will make economic sense for the region.

THUNDER BAY – ENERGY – Recognizing the leadership of First Nations and Métis communities in Ontario’s clean energy future, the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) is offering up to $15 million in funding.

This support will directly advance Indigenous energy planning, infrastructure development, and education initiatives.

“First Nations and Métis communities are critical partners in the energy transformation and the IESO is committed to building enduring relationships and inclusive partnerships with Indigenous Peoples,” said Carla Nell, Vice-President of Corporate Relations, Stakeholder Engagement and Innovation at the IESO. “The Indigenous Energy Support Program is one part of this commitment, promoting Indigenous leadership in the sector while moving the needle on energy projects that will support the growth and decarbonization of Ontario’s electricity system.”

Application Open for 2024 Projects

The 2024 intake window for the Indigenous Energy Support Program (IESP) is now open and runs until August 30, 2024. Indigenous communities can apply for funding in one or more of the following areas:

  • Capacity Building: Covering professional training, community engagement, youth and Elder workshops, and the hiring of a Community Energy Champion.
  • Economic Development: Supporting renewable installations, transmission and storage projects, sector partnerships, and major capital projects.
  • Energy Resilience and Monitoring: Funding for energy planning, project monitoring, impact assessments, and energy auditing.

Program Success Stories

“The Indigenous Energy Support Program has been very beneficial to our community,” said Chief R. Donald Maracle, Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte. “With this funding, our Community Energy Team will be able to develop the skills they need to build and maintain our renewable energy assets. We will also be able to hire a Community Energy Champion to lead projects that will strengthen our energy resilience, reduce costs for our members and create economic opportunities for future generations.”

Ontario’s Commitment to Indigenous-Led Clean Energy

“This energy support program will ensure that Indigenous communities can continue to benefit from new opportunities in the electricity sector while also helping Ontario build a reliable, affordable and clean energy system,” said the Honourable Todd Smith, Minister of Energy.

The IESO highlights that this program is a crucial step towards fair and inclusive participation in the electricity sector, especially as Ontario’s energy transition accelerates.

Additional Information and Quick Facts:

  • Funding increase: Increased by $5 million this year, bringing the total 2024 investment to $15 million.
  • IESP Impact: Since 2009, $74 million has been awarded to 170 Indigenous communities and organizations.
  • Indigenous Leadership: Examples include
    • Wataynikaneyap Power Project
    • Large-scale battery storage projects
    • ONEIDA battery storage project (Canada’s largest)
    • Save on Energy programs in Indigenous communities

To learn more and apply for funding, visit the IESO website

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