New website to assist with green energy opportunities

Rural communities and First Nations can now access new information and tools to help them explore green energy opportunities.

  • Jun. 3, 2012 1:00 p.m.

Rural communities and First Nations can now access new information and tools to help them explore green energy opportunities with the launch of a dedicated website for the Green Energy as a Rural Development Tool Project.

The Green Energy project was designed to develop and circulate new information and tools that will assist rural communities and First Nations in exploring the economic opportunities around green energy development.

The multi-year project will complete case studies on successful green energy projects and develop and circulate information and tools that will help assist rural communities and First Nations in developing Green Energy projects. All information developed as part of the project will be made available on the project website.

The Green Energy project was created and funded by a partnership that includes the Cariboo-Chilcotin Beetle Action Coalition, Columbia Basin Trust, the Omineca Beetle Action Coalition, the Southern Interior Beetle Action Coalition, the Federal Government’s Rural Partnership and the Provincial Government’s Mountain Pine Beetle Epidemic Response Branch.

“Interior rural communities and First Nations impacted by the mountain pine beetle epidemic are all interested in exploring how green energy development can contribute to regional and community economic growth and diversification,” said Rhona Martin, Southern Interior Beetle Action Coalition (SIBAC) chair and Columbia Shuswap Regional District Area E director. “This project provides information specific to rural communities and will assist with the feasibility assessment of various proposed Green Energy projects in the interior.”

“Investment in Green Energy as a tool for rural economic development is so important for British Columbia,” added Williams Lake Mayor Kerry Cook, who is also the Cariboo-Chilcotin Beetle Action Coalition (CCBAC) chair. “Our communities are very focused on encouraging economic diversification to counter the devastating impacts of the mountain pine beetle epidemic on our communities.”

Stephanie Killam, Omineca Beetle Action Coalition (OBAC) chair and mayor of Mackenzie added: “The growth of the alternative energy sector is one of the identified strategic priorities for the Omineca Beetle Action Coalition. The options, feasibility, technologies and programs impacting the development of the industry are varied and complex, and our small, rural communities usually lack the resources to fully understand the opportunities associated with green energy development. The project will provide significant assistance to our regions.”

“The Green Energy sector has significant potential to contribute to rural economic development,” added Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett, who is the parliamentary secretary for rural communities. “We are pleased to support this project in partnership with the BACs, the Columbia Basin Trust and the Federal Government.”

“We are pleased to partner on this project that supports rural economic development,” said Neil Muth, Columbia Basin Trust president and CEO. “Communities in the Columbia Basin have expressed an interest in exploring green energy projects as a means to diversify, and this project will provide them with information and tools they need to move forward.”

The Beetle Action Coalitions were created in 2005-2006 to develop and implement mitigation plans that will help communities impacted by the mountain pine beetle epidemic. SIBAC is managing the Green Energy as a Rural Development Tool project on behalf of the project partners.

To read a new Case Study report on the District of Lake Country’s successful micro-hydro power plant and other Green Energy information resources please visit the Rural BC Green Energy website.

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