Saulteau First Nations (SFN) and Natural Forces are pleased to announce the completion and commissioning of a new 15MW wind project located south of Chetwynd, British Columbia. The Project was developed by SFN and its partner, Natural Forces. It is now the largest majority-owned Indigenous green energy project in British Columbia.
“This was a complex project undertaken during very difficult times. I am very proud of our whole team,” said Chief Justin Napoleon. “Our partners, contractors, and suppliers had to be smart, flexible, and adaptable to overcome the challenges posed by the pandemic. We all stayed on course to complete this major project, and together we delivered it on time and on budget.”
The partners developed innovative tactic to project design, environmental protection, construction management, and investment and financing. This unique approach enabled the team to successfully complete the project on schedule, though the critical phases had to be implemented during the pandemic.
“Taking part in this project has been very meaningful for me,” added John Brereton, President of Natural Forces. “Saulteau deserves a lot of credit for the leadership they provided, and the spirit of collaboration they fostered among our team members. We strongly believe that as we continue to electrify our economy using green energy there is a bright future for low-cost, low-carbon, Indigenous-led projects.”
The partners believe that Indigenous-led clean energy projects can create employment and business development opportunities for local contractors, as well as long-term, stable revenues for communities like Saulteau. In addition, this Project will generate strong benefits for the Province with an estimated $5.8 million in property taxes and other revenues over the first 30 years of operations.
“We are excited to see the completion of the Sukunka Wind Project, which will add to our clean, renewable electricity supply,” said BC Hydro President and CEO Chris O’Riley. “This project demonstrates the importance of reconciliation and reflects our commitment to a meaningful relationship with the Saulteau First Nation.”
The Honourable Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation also welcomed the project. He said, “The successful completion of this Indigenous-led clean energy project, especially during the pandemic, is a very significant accomplishment that highlights the entrepreneurial spirit and ingenuity of First Nations in B.C. Congratulations to the Saulteau First Nation and their partners.”