Awasis Solar Project

Project Update

Cowessess First Nation and Elemental Energy entered into a formal partnership that will develop, construct, own and operate a 10MW solar generation facility.

The Proposal Submission for the Awasis Solar LP was provided in SaskPower in October 2019. The submission was approved by SaskPower in March 2020. The project team has a target commercial operation date of late 2021 and are well on their way to achieving this milestone.

  • Project Owner: Cowessess First Nation and Elemental Energy

  • Type: Solar

  • Size: 10MW

  • Location: Reserve land near Regina, Saskatchewan

  • Environmental Benefit: Long term supply of emissions free electricity

Indigenous Benefits from Project

Indigenous Equity Ownership

Indigenous Equity Ownership

The project is 51% owned by Cowessess First Nation through their economic development arm, Cowessess Ventures Ltd.  Cowessess Ventures Ltd. owns Awasis Neheyawewini Energy Development Corporation (ANEDC) a corporation established to pursue utility scale energy projects on behalf of the nation since 2010.  ANEDC will enter into a Limited Partnership Agreement with Elemental Energy Ltd to form a limited partnership which will become the Project Co to develop and own the 10 MW solar project. The equity ownership will generate a rate of return that will be distributed back to Cowessess Ventures Ltd for reinvestment in future renewable energy projects.  As Cowessess Ventures Ltd builds its book of business in time there will be dividend payment made back to Cowessess First Nation for reinvestment in community and social programs.

Project Governance

Project Governance

Project Co will have a Board of Directors with equal representation from Cowessess and Elemental Energy.  This allows Cowessess to maintain a level of control on the development located on reserve lands. It also allows the community to build governance, finance and business capacity in this sector.

Contracting Opportunities

Contracting Opportunities

To date the Project has engaged Misty Clifton to carry out the Environmental and Geotechnical studies required and Brabant Law, both Aboriginal owned companies to deliver their services.  The Project Team is awaiting the results of the technical studies before engineering commences (Sept 2019). The Engineer, Procure, Construction plan is still underway. No contracts have been awarded to this extent.  The plan will be to discuss ahead of time with Indigenous construction companies to understand the scopes they can provide and they will be invited to participate in a competitive tender for the work once the EPC plan is finalized.

Site Control

Site Control

The land is reserve status and has a designation in place that allows commercial development to take place. This allows for maximum benefits to Cowessess First Nation as they will benefit from the leasing of their land for the project as well.

Education and Training

Education and Training

Project Co intends to offer solar installation training to our community members ahead of construction to get them employment ready for the opportunity.  More effort needs to be placed on how to train and educate community members to take on the more technical sides of this project such as electrical engineering, accounting, site maintenance, etc.  The long term goal is to have a community member trained and employed long term as the site’s maintenance personnel. We welcome feedback on how to realize this component within our project.