SACHTEEN, B.C.—Canadian renewable power producer Innergex Renewable Energy Inc. has signed a deal with a British Columbia First Nations group to develop six hydroelectric projects totalling approximately 150 megawatts.
The agreement between Quebec-based Innergex and the In-SHUCK-ch Nation, a tribal council representing the Samahquam and Skatin Nations, will see the two sides form a 50-50 partnership for the development of six run-of-river hydroelectric projects in the province.
“We are extremely pleased to have entered this agreement with the In-SHUCK-ch Nation, and we look forward to working in partnership with them, respectfully and collaboratively, on sustainable economic development opportunities for their communities,” Richard Blanchet, western region senior vice-president with Innergex, said in a statement.
The projects are proposed for six creeks within the Nation’s traditional territories northeast of Vancouver: Rogers Creek, Snowcap Creek, Gowan Creek, Kakila Creek, Tuwasus Creek and Billygoat Creek.
According to Innergex, it is currently involved in discussions with the provincial government and Crown utility BC Hydro to “ensure the viability” of the projects and negotiate potential long-term power purchase agreements.
The first of the proposed projects is slated for Rogers Creek, an area that the federal and B.C. governments agreed to transfer to the In-SHUCK-ch Nation under a treaty deal signed in April 2013.
“It’s no accident that we’re finalizing our partnership arrangement with Innergex at the same time as we are concluding the treaty,” In-SHUCK-ch chief negotiator Gerrard Peters said.
“A successful treaty means we must begin to pay our own way, and our green energy projects will make that possible. For the In-SHUCK-ch Nation, this means moving away from dependency and taking our proper place within Canada.”
Other parcels of land intended for power project development will be transferred to the Samahquam and Skatin Nations once the treaty is ratified by the In-SHUCK-ch Nation.