December 12 – The BC government has today announced that it is releasing $500,000 in funding for the Tahltan Nation to invest in AltaGas’ Volcano Creek renewable energy project.
The funding has come from the First Nations Clean Energy Fund and will help our Nation to start investing in Volcano Creek. An impact benefits agreement allows the Tahltan Nation to invest up to $2 million in the project.
Tahltan Central Council president Chad Day said: “This is an exciting day for our Nation – it’s the first time we have been able to take a large stake in a new development in our territory. It sets us up for the future, will develop our economy and makes sure that we have a voice in the decisions that matter.
“I would like to thank the many Tahltans who contributed as well as the province and AltaGas for their support of the Tahltan Nation on this project.”
Volcano Creek is expected to run for 60 years and return a 7.95% return every year, meaning that an initial $2 million would grow to around about $3.2 million in 60 years. This is addition to existing revenue-sharing agreements in place.
Today’s news is the latest result of respectful and fruitful ongoing relationships with the province and AltaGas’s run-of-river hydroelectric projects. Already there is an agreement in place to share the revenue that comes from the projects, and there are also impact benefit agreements (IBAs) between AltaGas, TCC, Tahltan Band and Iskut Band Council.
As well as allowing for investment, the IBAs provide jobs and training opportunities for our people while also making sure Tahltan people are involved in environmental protection and monitoring. This includes an Environmental Protection Committee that is made up of both Tahltan and AltaGas representatives.
In late November, AltaGas announced that Volcano Creek has already started producing power. Weather and river conditions permitting, it is expected to start full commercial operations in the coming weeks.
Volcano Creek is a run-of-river hydroelectric project that delivers power to the Northwest Transmission Line. It is one of three AltaGas projects in Tahltan territory. The others are the Forrest Kerr and McLymont Creek hydroelectric projects.