The partnership was formed through a provincial initiative, led by New Brunswick Power. New Brunswick Power is in the process of procuring 80 MW of renewable energy through community-based projects to meet the province’s aspirations of generating up to 40% of its electricity from renewable energy sources. The Locally-Owned Renewable Energy projects that are Small Scale (LORESS) program was developed to procure renewable energy projects from aboriginal communities and local entities throughout the province through a competitive bidding process. The Wiskolamson project has been selected as part of the aboriginal business component and will operate for 25 years, pursuant to the power purchase agreement with New Brunswick Power.
The renewable energy developer from Halifax and the New Brunswick First Nation have joined forces for the development, construction and operation of the Wisokolamson Energy Project. Wisokolamson Energy derives its name from Woodstock First Nation’s traditional language and translates to “the wind blows very strongly.”
“Woodstock First Nation would like to praise New Brunswick for encouraging industry and developers to work with and form partnerships with the First Nations of this territory. We hope that this trend continues and New Brunswick will support economic participation by First Nations in projects that impact our communities, environment, and lands” says Woodstock First Nation’s Council member Joe Tomah.
“Woodstock First Nation is proud to be involved in a renewable energy project that will provide New Brunswick with enough clean energy to service over 6000 homes in the province. We are excited to branch out into the renewable energy sector and are open to discuss and negotiate future projects that will benefit the Woodstock First Nation and surrounding communities of NB” noted Chief Tim Paul of Woodstock First Nation. “Our community is proud that we can contribute to the employment and economic growth of the territory. The Wisokolamson Energy Project is another step in strengthening Woodstock First Nation’s relationship with New Brunswick and the private and business community.”
The offtaker for the 18 MW emission-free energy will be New Brunswick Power. “We are very proud to work with Woodstock First Nation and SWEB Development on this important project,” said NB Power President and CEO, Gaëtan Thomas. “This will help us reach our renewable energy goals and energy demands. This collaboration is an important one as we all have a role to play in the future of our energy market."
Economic and Environmental Benefits
“What excites me most about projects like this is their contribution to our transition to clean energy sources and the communities that are built around a shared vision”, says Jason Parisé, Development Manager at SWEB. “It is extremely rewarding to be involved in a project with Woodstock First Nation that will have a positive impact on the environment and local businesses while creating several employment opportunities”, explains the renewable energy developer from Juniper, New Brunswick.
The project will have sustainable impacts not only on an environmental level: The Wisokolamson Partnership has committed to provide two bursaries per year over the project’s lifetime to First Nation students studying renewable energy, energy efficiency, energy conservation or similar programs at the university or college level.
The partners are eager to commence construction in September 2018 and start delivering electricity by November of the following year.
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