Aboriginal Energy Partnerships Program: Creating Green Energy Opportunities for First Nation and Métis Communities
Ontario is making it easier for First Nation and Métis communities to develop green energy projects.
The Green Energy Act authorizes the Minister of Energy and Infrastructure to establish measures to facilitate the participation of Aboriginal peoples in the development of renewable energy generation facilities. The Aboriginal participation measures will include: an Aboriginal Loan Guarantee Program, an Aboriginal Energy Partnerships Program and Aboriginal price incentives for the feed-in tariffs.
Through the Aboriginal Energy Partnerships Program (AEPP), the province will provide support to Aboriginal communities considering renewable generation projects. It will assist in the following three areas:
- Support for Community Energy Plans. A Community Energy Plan will allow Aboriginal communities to determine local interests, needs and opportunities for renewable energy development, conservation, grid connection and reducing reliance on diesel in remote communities.
- Support through funding project pre-feasibility and feasibility studies, development of business cases, resource assessment, environmental and technical studies as well as other soft costs for First Nation and Métis energy projects.
- Support to establish the Aboriginal Renewable Energy Network (AREN), an online based centre for sharing of knowledge and best practices related to First Nation and Métis green energy projects.
The AREN will make use of regional seminars, the development of educational materials, interaction with the Renewable Energy Facilitation Office and support contact and information interchange between First Nations and Métis proponents at all stages of project development.
The AEPP will be managed through the Ontario Power Authority following a directive by the Minister to establish this initiative. Specific arrangements, delivery partners and access to services will be implemented with continued advice from Aboriginal leaders and experts in the area of renewable energy development. Additional details will be provided in the coming weeks.