Canada Invests $18.5 Million in Cowessess First Nation Awasis Solar Project
November 9, 2022 Regina, Saskatchewan Natural Resources Canada
The Government of Canada is working with Indigenous partners to create the good jobs and enduring prosperity that will come with the unprecedented economic opportunities of building a net-zero world. A clean, affordable, reliable power grid will be a key enabler of that net-zero world, and the Government of Canada is investing to decarbonize and expand Canada’s grid accordingly.
Today, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, joined Awasis Solar Limited Partnership and its partners to celebrate the commissioning of the Awasis Solar Project, a 10-megawatt solar power generation project on Cowessess land at the site of the existing Cowessess Renewable Energy Storage Facility.
As part of the celebration, the Minister announced Canada’s investment of $18.5 million that helped build the project. This investment includes over $13.7 million from Natural Resources Canada’s Smart Renewables and Electrification Pathways program, $3.5 million from Infrastructure Canada’s Investing in Canada Plan, Green infrastructure stream and $1.25 million from PrairiesCan.
The Awasis Solar Project will reduce GHG emissions by approximately 14,000 tonnes of CO2e in the first year of operations and by approximately 350,000 tonnes of CO2e over the 35-year expected life of the project — in total, equivalent to the emissions of over 70,000 gas-powered cars driven for one year.
Awasis Solar has created training and skills opportunities for the Indigenous community and will generate sustainable income for Awasis Solar Limited Partnership that can be invested in future clean energy initiatives and other community priorities.
Awasis Solar Limited Partnership is 95-percent owned by Cowessess First Nation, through Awasis Nehiyawewin Energy Development Limited Partnership (ANEDLP), and five-percent owned by Elemental Energy, with Awasis Nehiyawewini Energy Development Corp (ANEDC) having the opportunity to become 100-percent owners after year five of commercial operations.
This investment demonstrates the Government of Canada’s commitment to Indigenous-led energy initiatives that support energy independence and climate leadership.
“The federal government is delivering investments that will support Indigenous communities in developing a cleaner electricity grid while creating sustainable jobs. Today’s announcement is an important step toward our goal of achieving a net-zero-emitting electricity system by 2035.”
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson
Minister of Natural Resources
“To reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, SaskPower is transforming the way it powers the province. Clean, renewable power from projects like Awasis are key to achieving that goal, and we are pleased to welcome the facility to the provincial grid.”
The Honourable Don Morgan
Minister of Crown Investments Corporation
“Elemental Energy is honoured and humbled to be partnered with the Cowessess First Nation on the successful delivery of the Awasis Solar project, which will bring clean, renewable energy to the Saskatchewan grid for many decades.”
Principal of Elemental Energy
“Cowessess First Nation is pleased to have the Government of Canada and Elemental Energy alongside us as we announce the completion of this historic project on Cowessess First Nation Land. The Government of Canada’s investment demonstrates its confidence in our ability to deliver renewable energy projects. This milestone reached today fills our entire community with pride, and we look forward to continuing along this path to ensure a brighter, more sustainable tomorrow.”
Chief Cadmus Delorme
Cowessess First Nation
The Government of Canada recently proposed 30-percent tax credits for the deployment of clean technology in the 2022 Fall Economic Statement.
Natural Resources Canada’s funding for this project is provided by the $1.56-billion Smart Renewables and Electrification Pathways (SREPs) program. This program will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions by enabling increased renewable energy capacity that will provide essential grid services while contributing to Canada’s net-zero targets by 2030, which will improve public health by creating cleaner, more breathable air.
Infrastructure Canada’s funding for this project is provided by the $180-billion Investing in Canada Plan, Green infrastructure stream. This program is designed to create long-term economic growth to build a stronger middle class; support the resilience of communities and transition to a clean growth economy; and build stronger social inclusion and socio-economic outcomes for all Canadians.
Canada’s 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan: Clean Air, Strong Economy ensures Canada will remain a world leader in clean power. The Government of Canada is committed to supporting local solutions and community-driven projects that will build a clean energy future for all. Together, we are building healthier, greener and more energy-resilient communities for future generations.
This investment is yet another step in reaching Canada’s target of a net-zero grid by 2035. And just like investments in everything from clean energy to nature protection, today’s announcement is part of achieving Canada’s ambitious climate change goals to build a cleaner, healthier and affordable future for all Canadians.
Natural Resources Canada
Office of the Minister of Natural Resources
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