Government of Canada Contributes $13.5 Million to Advance Innovative Forest Technologies and Clean Energy Projects in British Columbia

News release

January 18, 2024             Prince George, B.C.             Natural Resources Canada 

Whether it’s through deploying clean energy and modernizing our grid, conserving our lands and waters, or utilizing innovative low-carbon forest products — Canada’s vast resources are central to the development of a prosperous and sustainable net-zero economy. 

That is why today, at the 21st annual B.C. Natural Resources Forum, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, announced a contribution of $13.5 million to two forest industry transformation projects and six clean energy projects in British Columbia. These eight projects have been funded through the Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) program and the Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities (CERRC) program.  

Projects funded through the Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities (CERRC) program include: 

·        $1.9 million for Xeni Gwet’in First Nations Government’s Nemiah Valley Renewable Microgrid Project: This project will demonstrate the integration of a solar and battery energy storage system onto the diesel microgrid to utilize local resources to produce energy for the central and west communities.

·        $2.5 million for Xeni Gwet’in First Nations Government’s Klokon Creek/Augers Lake Small Hydroelectric Front-end Engineering and Design Study:  This study will result in a shovel-ready project to generate hydropower on Klokon Creek utilizing Augers Lake for storage. The hydropower system will be integrated with the renewable energy microgrid to further reduce diesel generation in the central and west communities of Nemiah Valley.

·        $1.1 million for Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation’s Yuquot Wave Energy Demonstration project: This project will design a 100kW wave energy plant that would integrate with a microgrid to displace current diesel fuel use of the Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nations residents and visitors at Yuquot, B.C.

·        $1.3 million for Yourbrook Energy Systems Ltd’s Kamdis Tidal Power Demonstration Project Phase I: The objective of this project is to conduct a design study for a 500kW tidal energy generation system combining pumped hydroelectric storage to displace diesel with clean, reliable and firm power generation on the north grid of Haida Gwaii.     

·        $166,700 for Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition: The project will support building community capacity for long-term clean energy solutions and alternatives to fossil fuels for heat and electricity within the Upper Skeena region in British Columbia.

·        $1.5 million for FPInnovations’ Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Academy Project: This project will develop an equal opportunity capacity-building program that provides practical training in the areas of biomass combined heat and power (Bio-CHP) operation and maintenance, and biomass supply chains. 

Projects funded through the Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) program include:  

·        $500,000 for Daizen Joinery Ltd’s Wood Fibre Stabilization Project: Located in Kamloops, B.C., this project involves a new proprietary wood stabilization process suitable for materials such as underutilized species that are typically difficult to dry and process. It will demonstrate the application of these new technologies and treatments, which will be the first of their kind in North America.

·        $4.5 million for Kalesnikoff Mass Timber’s Robotic Processing Line Project: This South Slocan, B.C. project will drive mass timber products further up the innovation curve by deploying a new robotic processing line for enhanced mass timber products with superior acoustic and moisture-resisting performance. This process will help overcome existing technical challenges faced with conventional mass timber products, supporting Canada’s efforts to reduce the GHG emissions associated with our built environment.

From reducing the use of fossil fuels and supporting community-led clean energy priorities to replacing carbon-intensive materials with those made from underutilized wood fibre, each project aims to help develop clean energy and forest-based technologies, products and services that will benefit communities across Canada for years to come. These projects will help to lower emissions while simultaneously driving economic growth and creating good, sustainable jobs in communities across B.C.

While in Prince George to attend the 21st annual B.C. Natural Resources Forum, Minister Wilkinson also toured the Tidewater Refinery, the main refinery in the B.C. interior, and held productive meetings with a number of stakeholders across the resource sectors.

The Government of Canada is committed to supporting more diverse and inclusive energy and forest sectors, facilitating the transition to clean energy in Indigenous, rural and remote communities and providing greener solutions that tackle climate change.


“The Government of Canada is pleased to support a competitive and sustainable future for the forest sector as well as clean energy development and deployment across B.C. Through these nine projects, Canada is advancing its commitment to sustainable economic growth, cleaner energy for communities and lower emissions across the province. This is good news for our environment, good news for our economy and good news for British Columbians.”

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson

Minister of Energy and Natural Resources

“Indigenous Peoples have always had a close relationship with the land and the environment and are at the frontlines in the fight against climate change. This investment in green technology will support First Nations as they transition from diesel fuel dependency to clean and renewable energy. We will continue to work with Indigenous communities through projects like this to advance Indigenous climate action and transition into a net-zero economy.”

The Honourable Patty Hajdu

Minister of Indigenous Services

“PacifiCan is partnering with innovative organizations, like FPInnovations, to support the growth and diversification of British Columbia’s economy. With our support, their Combined Heat and Power Academy Project is providing practical training that will not only create good jobs, but reduce reliance on fossil fuels in Indigenous, rural and remote communities.”

The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan

Minister of Emergency Preparedness and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada (PacifiCan)

“Through CleanBC, our government is committed to reducing diesel consumption for generating electricity and heating in remote communities by 80 percent by 2030. By developing innovative partnerships and opportunities with Indigenous communities like Xeni Gwet’in and the Nemiah Valley Renewable Microgrid Project, we are helping communities that rely on diesel generators for their electricity to make the switch to clean, reliable and affordable energy.”

The Honourable Josie Osborne

Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation

“FPInnovations is pleased to be at the heart of this collaborative project with First Nations, Natural Resources Canada, the Province of British Columbia and UBC. Our expertise and knowledge are being passed on to interested communities to create energy independence and while creating a clean source of energy, economic development and local jobs. This project has been in the making for many years, and we are excited to see it become a reality.” 

Stéphane Renou

President and CEO, FPInnovations

“As an organization interested in making tangible change in the watershed in a way that salmon, ecosystems, economy and cultures can thrive with, we are so very grateful for the support from NRCan and our community partners to transform the way people view energy.”

Derek Ingram

Project Manager, Skeena Energy Solutions

Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition

“We appreciate this investment in innovative, leading technology to further enhance our mass timber offerings; creating better and more sustainable building options and ensuring Canada evolves toward a low-carbon future.

Chris Kalesnikoff

Chief Operating Officer, Kalesnikoff Mass Timber

“Daizen would like to thank the Government of Canada for its support for our fibre stabilization technology from concept to reality. We are very excited to present this new innovation on treating logs before kiln drying to eliminate wood movement.”

Dai Ona

Owner, Daizen Joinery Ltd.

Quick facts

  • The IFIT program facilitates the adoption of transformative technologies and products in the forest sector by bridging the gap between development and commercialization, while the CERRC program aims to reduce the use of fossil fuels for heating and electricity by supporting Indigenous, rural and remote communities as they advance local renewable energy sources and energy efficiency projects.

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Natural Resources Canada

Media Relations


Carolyn Svonkin 

Press Secretary

Office of the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Canada 


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