Merritt, BC. August 30, 2016 – The Lower Nicola Indian Band has announced the installation and launch of the largest community-owned solar power installation in British Columbia.
The Lower Nicola Indian Band has announced the installation and launch of the largest community-owned solar power installation in British Columbia.
Construction is underway to place 330 photovoltaic (PV) solar panels on the roof of the Lower Nicola Indian Band School gymnasium. Once completed they will generate up to 85.8 kilowatts of electricity, providing green energy for the Lower Nicola Indian Band. Excess energy will flow back to the local BC Hydro grid.
The Lower Nicola Indian Band, located just six kilometres west of Merritt, British Columbia, is home to just over 1,000 members of the Nlaka’pamux Nation, one of the Interior Salish peoples that have lived for thousands of years along the Thompson and Nicola rivers in the Southern Interior of the province.
The independent Nlaka’pamux people have always been responsible stewards of the land and waters that have sustained them for generations and this latest initiative is another example of how the community is building self-reliance.
Located in the heart of ‘sun belt’ of the province, the Lower Nicola territory is an ideal place to harness the power of the sun.
“The panels are being installed in August, and will be fully operational before school starts in September,” said Chief Aaron Sam.
“This is most likely the first step of a phased approach on making our community more energy self-sufficient,” he added noting that in the near future the band Council will be considering a program to support community members in making their own homes more self-sufficient with solar panels.
In addition the solar garden will be a part of the school curriculum, teaching students about sustainable energy and how this will reduce reliance on fossil fuels and other energy systems that have negative impacts on the environment.
“The cost of solar electricity has come down significantly- 65% the last 7 years- which has opened an opportunity for communities such as the Lower Nicola Band to take an active role in the solar movement,” said David Isaac, President of W Dusk Energy Group, the principal developer of the solar project.
“The electricity that this project creates will go directly into meeting the energy demand of the community,” he added.
The W Dusk Group specializes in working with First Nations communities to harness the power of their renewable energy resources in tandem with broader community development initiatives such as land use planning, food systems and infrastructure development.
“This will be a project that will give members of our community great pride,” said Helder Ponte, Executive Director of the Lower Nicola Indian Band. “In conjunction with the solar panel installation W Dusk Group have been filming around the community to produce a short video about the project, which will be released in the coming weeks,” he added.
The Lower Nicola Indian Band also wishes to acknowledge the tremendous support provided to the project by Canadian Energy, DNM Solar and BC Hydro.
A BBQ will be held at noon on Friday, September 9th at the Lower Nicola Indian Band School to mark the completion of the project and to celebrate this latest achievement in strengthening the self-reliance of the Lower Nicola Indian Band.
About Lower Nicola Indian Band
The Lower Nicola Indian band is comprised of members of the Nłeʔkepmxc Nation (pronounced Ng-khla-kap-muhx), one of the Interior Salish first peoples in the Southern interior of British Columbia, along with the Secwe̓pemc (Shuswap), Lillooet, and Okanagan.
The word “Nłeʔkepmxc” means “People of the Canyon”. The people of the Lower Nicola Indian Band, are committed to building a peaceful prosperous and secure community made up of healthy individuals rooted in the Nłeʔkepmx culture, respecting ourselves, each other, the environment and all of Creation. For more information visit www.lnib.net
About W Dusk Energy Group
The W Dusk Energy Group, led by its president, and founder, David Isaac, actively develops renewable energy projects throughout Canada, involving solar, wind and hydro kinetic energy. T
The Group’s mission is to collaborate on community owned renewable energy projects to contribute to local economic sustainability and to lessen negative impacts on the environment. For further information contact: David Isaac, firstname.lastname@example.org