Today, the Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister responsible for PrairiesCan and Minister responsible for CanNor, and Dr. Brendan Hanley, Member of Parliament for Yukon, announced investments of more than $2.4 million to support two projects in Old Crow, Yukon. While in the community, Minister Vandal and MP Hanley also visited Sree Vyàa (Old Crow Solar Project), which previously received $8.5 million in funding from the Government of Canada.
These projects build from the momentum of Sree Vyàa by creating good local jobs, broadening options for renewable resource use and building opportunities to develop local skills and experience. Furthermore, these projects are driven by the community with sustainable benefits for generations to come.
Sree Vyàa (Old Crow Solar Project) $8.5 million
Owned by the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation, Sree Vyàa is an integral piece of Old Crow’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2030. It is the largest solar energy project of its kind in a remote Yukon community, providing electricity for the community while displacing nearly 190,000 litres of diesel fuel per year. This clean energy alternative to diesel generation is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 680 tonnes of CO2e annually – the equivalent of taking nearly 150 cars off the road each year.
The project actively provides training and skills development opportunities to equip community members with the knowledge and experience needed to both maintain Sree Vyàa as well as advance future projects.
In total, the Government of Canada provided $8.5 million in funding to support this important Vuntut Gwitchin-led solar project. From that combined total, CanNor provided $4.2 million, with an additional investment of $2.45 million through Natural Resource Canada’s Clear Energy for Rural and Remote Communities program, $1.2 million from Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada’s (CIRNAC) Northern Responsible Energy Approach for Community Heathy and Electricity (Northern REACHE) program and $630,000 from Polar Knowledge Canada (Northern Science and Technology Program).
Old Crow Wind Project – Wind Monitoring Phase $416,048
CIRNAC, through the Northern REACHE program, has invested $416,048 in the Old Crow Wind Project.
Northern REACHE funding will support VGG to build the meteorological tower on Crow Mountain. The MET tower will include heated sensors for the purpose of better understanding the best ways to manage icing on a commercial wind project at this location. Community consultation of a potential project in this location will be ongoing through the wind monitoring phase.
Mechanical Facility $2,068,950
CanNor is investing over $2 million towards a two-year project with additional funding from Porcupine Enterprises, a civil construction company linked to the Vuntut Gwitchin Government. Total funding is $3,183,000. This project addresses the need for a mechanical workshop in Old Crow to enable repairs and maintenance to equipment such as ATVs, snow machines and the community school bus.
Small businesses, such as trappers and tourism operators, will benefit from lower repairs costs, which supports these important sources of income and seasonal work for residents. The mechanical workshop will also enable the delivery of local apprenticeship training in coordination with Yukon University’s red-seal apprenticeship programs.