Engineering, forestry and nursing are the career paths chosen by three young members of Woodstock First Nation. For the 2023/2024 academic year, the UNB students Cordell Paul, Courtney Tomah and Jade Alain will see their post-secondary education be propelled by wind turbines located in south-eastern New Brunswick.
Each of the three indigenous students will receive a two-thousand-dollar bursary from the Wisokolamson Wind Energy Project. The five-turbine project in Albert County is owned by Woodstock First Nation and the renewable energy company, SWEB Development (SWEB).
“The two project partners have created the Kat Woodman Memorial Bursary Award program with the goal to support the post secondary endeavors of young indigenous students throughout the 25-year lifetime of the wind energy project”, explains Samantha McLellan, Band Councillor at Woodstock First Nation. Woodstock First Nation member, Kat Woodman, was an important proponent and collaborator of the Wisokolamson Energy Project
“Together with Chief Timothy Paul, Joseph Tomah and others, Kat Woodman laid the foundation for the successful venture”, explains Jason Parisé, Development Director of SWEB Development.
Since 2019 the Wisokolamson Wind Energy Project has produced clean energy for 6,000 homes annually in the province. The project name derived from Woodstock First Nation's traditional language, as "Wisokolamson" translates to "the wind blows strongly."
Ripple-effect: Halifax Energy Developer now with office in Fredericton
Wisokolamson was the first project built following a request for expressions of interest issued by New Brunswick Power in 2016 as part of the Locally-Owned Renewable Energy that are Small Scale (LORESS) Program.
The NB wind farm has ever since led to some positive ripple effects in and outside the province: SWEB was able to secure an award by Nova Scotia Power to deliver electricity from a 16-turbine wind farm in Pictou County, which is developed and built together with Glooscap First Nation. “Our relationship with Woodstock First Nation has greatly influenced our company’s project development in eastern Canada. It’s fair to say that the know-how and positive experience gained through the partnership with the community has given this new project a head start”, explains Jason Parisé.
But that’s not all: Encouraged by the past experience Halifax-based SWEB has decided to open an office in Fredericton, which will be led by Parisé, himself born and raised in Juniper, a small village in Carleton County.
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