Indigenous-owned company forging new path toward renewable energy in Inuvik

Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

Inuvik, Northwest Territories – Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada – Natural Resources Canada

A new solar project in Inuvik is helping to advance Canada’s transition to a low-carbon future while increasing the amount of electricity generated from renewables, reducing pollution and creating jobs in the Beaufort Delta Region.

Nihtat Energy Ltd., a northern Indigenous-owned and operated company, is developing a 1-megawatt solar farm on a brownfield site in Inuvik, Northwest Territories. The project is expected to displace 434,000 litres of fossil fuel and reduce 380,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year. This will improve local air quality and save the community $1 million in diesel costs per year.

In addition, the project is generating financial and social benefits for the Nihtat Gwich’in Council and Gwich’in community members through the creation of six construction jobs and four part-time operation jobs while facilitating training and capacity-building opportunities for local, Indigenous-owned businesses. Construction of the project is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

Inuvik currently consumes the most diesel for heat and power in the Northwest Territories. This project builds on the success of several other solar initiatives in Inuvik developed by Nihtat Energy Ltd., including those providing power to the Northmart, Solar Residential Program, Mackenzie Hotel and Inuvik Satellite Station Facility-all of which are contributing to reducing Inuvik’s reliance on diesel.

The Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, and the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, announced today that Canada’s new Clean Energy for Indigenous and Remote Communities Hub has invested a total of $5.586 million to help advance the Inuvik 1-Megawatt Solar Project, including $1 million from Northern Responsible Energy Approach for Community Heat and Electricity program (Northern REACHE), $4.189 million from Natural Resources Canada’s Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities program, and $397,000 from Natural Resource Canada’s Indigenous Off-Diesel Initiative.

While in Inuvik, Minister Vandal visited with Nihtat Energy Ltd. president Grant Sullivan and toured several other solar projects in the area.

Many communities in the North and Arctic continue to rely on diesel for electricity and heat, which is costly, polluting, and contributes to climate change. Canada’s newly launched Clean Energy for Indigenous Communities Hub supports Indigenous and Northern communities in transitioning away from diesel fuel for electricity and heating through energy efficiency initiatives and through support and funding for renewable energy technologies such as solar, wind, hydroelectricity, and biomass heating.

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