FNPA across Canada
Over the past year, FNPA has participated in a number of conversations with the Canadian Electricity Association, Canadian Wind Energy Association, Canadian Nuclear Association, provincial and municipal electrical utilities, Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities, as well as large and small providers of renewable energy. All of which are looking forward to seeing how FNPA’s vision can lead to exciting new ‘powerful opportunities’ in Canada.
One such example is FNPA’s participation in the First Nations Clean Energy Summit organized by Clean Energy BC. This provided an introduction to many First Nations communities in British Columbia as they learn how to best develop clean energy projects. The result was increased awareness of FNPA’s success in Saskatchewan with FNPA CEO Guy Lonechild presenting opportunities for collaboration with BC First Nations. Accordingly, the British Columbia Utilities Commission released their report on establishing First Nations-owned utilities, utility development and possibilities of new regulation of electricity systems on reserve.
Emerging Opportunities in Ontario, New Brunswick, Alberta and Saskatchewan
The provinces of Ontario, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan have agreed to explore the development of Small Modular Reactors (SMR) as a way to reduce carbon emissions from the electricity sector. With the release of Canada’s Action Plan regarding SMRs on December 18, 2020, FNPA is uniquely qualified to provide support with Indigenous engagement and economic participation. Some highlights of the year were hosting the first ever National Indigenous Forum on Small Modular Reactors and dialogue with Indigenous leadership and various provincial governments on key development action items committed under Natural Resources Canada’s SMR Action Plan.
The Provinces of New Brunswick and Ontario will be areas of particular interest to FNPA’s expansion through SMR and Hydrogen Technology development across the country. With countries like the US, China and Japan racing to develop these new technologies, Canada cannot do this without the support and meaningful involvement of the Indigenous people in these three provinces with other provinces and territories looking closely at SMR Roadmap and Action Plan.
New Wind and Solar Opportunities in Western Canada
An emerging area for FNPA and First Nations is identifying self-generation opportunites with large industrial consumers of electricity in Saskatchewan. These discussions are leading to partnership opportunities with major companies looking to reduce their cost of energy, lower their carbon footprint and achieve their Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Goals. It presents exciting prospects to increase Independent Power Producer capacity and growth trajectory. The mining sector has been a significant partner and contributor to Indigenous supply chain opportunities and FNPA looks forward to growing these opportunities for the benefit of our General Member and Industrial Member base in new power generation in Saskatchewan.
FNPA and Nutrien Sign Memorandum of Understanding
FNPA and Nutrien will seek to identify, develop, and invest in initiatives and events that ensure First Nations people know about, and share in the opportunities at Nutrien both as employees and as suppliers, focused towards:
- The development and use of energy information to make decisions, plan actions to the extent provincial or federal law or regulatory authority allows;
- Understanding expected and potential grid investments with Nutrien necessary to support reliability and the operation of distributed resources such as Solar and Wind development for the benefit of Nutrien’s Saskatchewan mine sites;
- Collective interaction with community, industry, government and regulatory circles of influence for the advancement of renewable energy initiatives, and for the benefit of Nutrien’s Saskatchewan mine sites which will provide opportunities for equity investment in renewable generation projects; and
- Maintain regular dialogue on energy opportunities of interest to both parties.
Memorandum of Understanding with Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM)
SARM, FNPA and the University of Saskatchewan signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on February 20, 2020. The MOU focuses efforts around energy literacy, renewable energy project siting and assessment, consultation, and gaining a fulsome understanding regarding a variety of siting options for the various technologies, resulting in the eventual successful completion of energy projects.
If Covid-19 has taught us anything it is that Canada has the capability to pull together. Our communities have had to adjust in order to keeping our families safe, which means alternating work schedules in sending our kids to school or keeping them home while learning. We see this as a call-to-action for civil society, political leadership, and the corporate community to find alternative ways to innovate. This innovation must happen with a focus on preparation for an uncertain future in the way we carry out human activity.
This means that there needs to be an all-hands-on-deck approach to rural broadband and connectivity so that our communities are equipped to handle the new normal for distance learning, business incubation and resurgence. FNPA is interested in pursuing other infrastructure development with First Nations and rural municipal partnerships in internet connectivity, water and energy security.
City of Regina, City of Saskatoon, Saskatoon Light and Power
FNPA CEO Guy Lonechild met with representatives from Saskatchewan’s two major cities and learned about plans for a lower emissions future through energy efficiency, solar and wind development, and other non-emitting sources of power production. FNPA looks forward to building on this vision of having net-zero emissions by 2050 for the benefit of the City of Regina, City of Saskatoon, and FNPA General and Industry Members—stay tuned.