Ulkatcho First Nation to house largest off-grid solar project in Canada

News release

Anahim Lake, British Columbia, April 19, 2024 — A new solar energy project will provide the Ulkatcho First Nation with clean energy after a combined investment of $15,841,000 from the federal and provincial governments.

Announced by Minister Sean Fraser, Minister George Heyman, and President Chris O’Riley this project is set to reduce the need for diesel generation in the remote community by about 64% -- equal to a reduction of 1.1 million litres of diesel a year – and it is estimated to be the largest off-grid solar project in Canada.

Located in Anahim Lake in Central B.C., the Ulkatcho First Nation’s power is currently 100% diesel generated. After scientific studies and a business case were completed, it was determined that solar power was the best alternative energy solution for the community.

To transition the community to clean energy, a solar power plant will be built by Ulkatcho Energy Corporation south of Anahim Lake. The project also includes the construction of new access roads and paths, control and monitoring of the new facility, fire management, security, signage, and other related assets. BC Hydro will buy the solar energy through a Community Electricity Purchase Agreement and integrate the energy into its microgrid through a line interconnection and battery energy storage system to then serve the community.


“Working with communities like the Ulkatcho First Nation to transition to cleaner energy sources builds on our  commitment to tackling climate change while supporting people across the country. This solar energy facility will not only reduce the community’s greenhouse gas emissions, but will also bring about reduced expenses due to the shutting down of diesel generators. We are incredibly proud to be able to support this great project.

The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities

“Switching from diesel fuel to renewable energy to heat your home or power your lights is a challenge if you live in a remote or isolated community. In partnership with the federal government and the Ulkatcho First Nation, clean-energy projects like this one will support many First Nations communities to improve air quality, reduce carbon-related pollution and increase their energy independence. This is an important part of reconciliation and of our work to ensure we all have a cleaner, better future — no matter where we live in our beautiful province.”

The Honourable George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy

“The Anahim Lake Solar Farm is just one example of how BC Hydro is working with First Nations to promote renewable energy, advance electrification, and form long-term partnerships," says Chris O’Riley, BC Hydro’s President and CEO. “It’s an important part of BC Hydro’s commitment to improve accessibility of clean, reliable, and affordable power to Indigenous Nations and communities in remote areas of B.C. This partnership lays the foundation for Indigenous participation in B.C.’s clean-energy sector and aims to not just promote sustainability, but also economic development and energy sovereignty for members of Ulkatcho First Nation.”

Chris O’Riley, President and CEO, BC Hydro

“As Canada strives towards its commitments to mitigate the effects of Climate Change, the Ulkatcho Energy Corporation sees this as an excellent opportunity - not only to diversify the activities of the Ulkatcho Group of Companies, but also play a critical role in ultimately displacing the use of diesel in the generation of clean electricity for Anahim Lake in particular and elsewhere. This is a model for meaningful Public-Private-Community Partnerships.”

Al-Nashir Jamal, Chairman of the Board, Ulkatcho Group of Companies

Quick facts

  • The federal government is investing $11,880,750 through the Green Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. The Government of British Columbia is investing $2,376,150.The Ulkatcho First Nation is contributing $818,300. And the Community Energy Diesel Reduction grant, which is facilitated by the BC New Relationship Trust, is contributing $765,800.

  • The federal stream helps build greener communities by contributing to climate change preparedness, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and supporting renewable technologies.

  • Including today’s announcement, 117 infrastructure projects under the Green Infrastructure Stream have been announced in British Columbia, with a total federal contribution of more than $528.8 million and a total provincial contribution of over $356.3 million.  

  • Under the Investing in Canada Plan, the federal government is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada's rural and northern communities.

  • Federal funding is conditional on fulfilling all requirements related to consultation and environmental assessment obligations.

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For more information (media only), please contact:

Micaal Ahmed
Communications Manager
Office of the Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities

Media Relations
Infrastructure Canada
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Ulkatcho Group of Companies
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