The Xeni Gwet’in First Nation has been working to bring reliable, clean electricity to all its members in the Nemiah Valley for nearly a decade. It has explored several technology options, from run-of-river to small wind to solar PV. The Nation was a pioneer in implementing solar-propane hybrid systems and prepayment meters.
Finally, the Nation’s persistence paid off and funding was secured for a community-wide solar-diesel system including a 1 MWh lithium-ion energy storage system and a 250kW solar array, as well as 25km of distribution line. Total budget for this project is nearly $4.5 million, with contributions from Indigenous Services Canada (ISC), NRCan, The BC Government and the Fraser Basin Council. It was kicked off in late December 2017, and commissioning is expected to take place in winter 2019.
Brevifolia performed a detailed project review in December 2017 then provided project management oversight, risk mitigation and support to the First Nation’s project manager (ongoing). Housing upgrades are also in the works, as well as a potential biomass combined heat & power (CHP) system. This is a project involving complex, relatively new technologies, many stakeholders (with AMP Energy as the technology integrator) and potential pitfalls. Brevifolia’s role is to help ensure this project is completed successfully by helping community members plan for and mitigate risks inherent to hi-tech projects in remote locations.