The Penticton Indian Band has just added another plank to its ongoing exploration of economic development for the band.
Thanks to $40,000 from the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund, the band is going to be exploring generating clean energy with wind and power projects.
The feasibility study will look at the possibility of establishing a small hydroelectric project at the Okanagan Lake dam, including a fish ladder to allow fish access to the lake, along with studying a wind power project.
“Sustainability is part of our cultural values and we’re finding ways to do that with modern technology,” said Chief Jonathan Kruger, who adds that the band is honoured to be receiving the grant.
MLA Dan Ashton said developing clean energy resources has the potential to provide social and economic benefits for band members while providing new and sustainable sources of hydroelectric power.
The financial and technical viability of both projects will be identified and recommendations made on how to best move ahead with further development.
Future job opportunities could include construction, operation and maintenance.
The First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund was created to increase participation in the clean energy sector. There are more than 200 corporations working in this sector in B.C., 68 per cent of which were formed in the last decade.
The fund has distributed more than $5..7 million to 90 First Nations communities since 2011.