The Province’s Renewable Energy for Remote Communities program is providing 1.8 million dollars to the Xeni Gwet’in for a transmission line to connect 28 homes to their hybrid clean energy micro-grid.
This will reduce diesel consumed for electricity generation by about fifty thousand liters per year.
Xeni Gwet’in Chief Jimmy Lulua said their goal has always been to improve living standards for the community as many still rely on gas/diesel generators and many don’t have running water
“We’re a fairly remote community, we’re about 3 hours from Williams Lake and the majority of that is on dirt road. We haven’t had power for the majority of our community for a long time so we have an underground transmission line that’s going to hook up our community so the living standard of our people will be much improved”.
Lulua said the community has always supported achieving self-sufficiency with alternative energy sources and they expect the work to be completed in late fall but with COVID-19 they have to talk with the contractors first.
“We still have to follow policy and protocol in our community also. Many of these people come from the States and as you know, in the States the COVID-19 is pretty rampant down there, I guess there’s not really any regulatory body down there to make sure that they’re checked and whatever, so we’re doing our piece to educate them on the virus and make sure that they’re safe to come into our community before we allow work there to go forward.”
Lulua said the Xeni Gwet’in First Nations Government has been working on clean energy for the past 20 years and the community has always supported achieving self-sufficiency with alternative energy sources.
Lulua added “We, as Xeni Gwet’ins, continue to be a role-model community to all First Nations communities and take pride in being a world-class model community”.