Fisher River Cree Nation unveils new solar farm in Manitoba
The project's focus is to generate revenue for the community
FISHER RIVER CREE NATION, Man. — Fisher River Cree Nation has launched the biggest solar project in Manitoba. The 1-megawatt facility has almost 3,000 solar panels and was built by Indigenous employees. The project’s focus is to generate revenue for the community.
“This solar project is a source of empowerment and pride for our community,” said Fisher River Cree Nation Chief David Crate in a prepared statement. “We want to show both Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities that ambitious renewable energy projects are possible without further harming the environment.”
Western Economic Diversification Canada contributed $1 million towards the project.
Electricity from the Fisher River solar project is being injected into Manitoba Hydro’s grid, and the project is a source of green electricity for Bullfrog Power, a Spark Power company.
“Congratulations to Fisher River Cree Nation on this shining achievement,” said Sean Drygas, president, Bullfrog Power. “This solar project is an important milestone in the advance of renewable energy in Canada, and we are honoured to support this community in making it a reality.”
W Dusk Energy Group Inc., an Indigenous-owned renewable energy firm, helped design and manage the Fisher River solar project. David Isaac, who is Mi’kmaw and the owner of W Dusk Energy, sees renewable energy as an important priority for First Nations.
“We’re trying to create a new standard for our communities,” Isaac said. “People are more enlightened about self-sufficiency and decentralized energy, and Fisher River is right at the leading edge of that.” Isaac also noted that the Fisher River solar farm could become a blueprint for other First Nations looking to generate renewable power.
The Fisher River community funded the nearly $2.4 million project with its own money, along with $1 million in support from Western Economic Diversification Canada.
In the future, Fisher River plans to further expand in renewable energy technology.