ALERT BAY—The ‘Namgis First Nation is among three Vancouver Island nations scheduled to receive provincial revenue through the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund (FNCEBF), the government announced last week.
The ‘Namgis will benefit from the Kokish River Hydroelectric Project, which lies approximately 15 kilometres east of Port McNeill in Beaver Cove. The project is owned and operated by Kwagis Power, a limited partnership between Brookfield Renewable and the ‘Namgis First Nation. The First Nation provincial revenue-sharing is forecast to be an estimated $165,000 to $192,000 per year over the life of the project.
“The ‘Namgis First Nation places great importance on partnerships as a path to sustainable self-sufficiency, governed by respect for environment, culture and sound management,” ‘Namgis elected Chief Debra Hanuse said. “We welcome this agreement as an example of the B.C. government’s similar commitment to these values.”
The Kokish River Hydro Project has an installed capacity of 45 megawatts, which can generate enough clean, renewable energy annually to power close to 13,000 homes.
Water is diverted from the Kokish River to the power station only when flow levels exceed amounts necessary to preserve the viability of the stream’s fish runs.
Other recipients from the fund include the Mowachaht-Muchalaht First Nation, which will receive an estimated $30,000 in provincial revenue sharing annually over the lifetime of the Cypress Creek Hydro project near Gold River, and the Klahoose First Nation, which is expected to receive approximately $214,000 annually from the Jimmie Creek Hydro project, approximately 100 kilometres northeast of Powell River.
“Through the support and leadership of First Nations, B.C.’s clean energy sector is growing rapidly,” said John Rustad, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation. “These revenue-sharing agreements highlight our commitment to provide social and economic benefits to First Nations through the additional support of their clean energy development projects.”
British Columbia is the first province to share revenue from mining, forestry and other resources with First Nations. Through the revenue-sharing agreements, participating First Nations will receive a share of water rentals and land rents charged by the Province for licences issued to the power developer for the life of a project.