First Nations coalition provides ‘capacity support’ to Clarke Lake geothermal project

The board of the First Nations Major Projects Coalition will provide “capacity support” to the Clarke Lake geothermal project as requested by Fort Nelson First Nation.

The project involves taking hot water from depth at a former natural gas well and bringing it to the surface to generate clean electricity. The project will produce between seven-15 MW of clean sustainable electricity on a year-round basis. That is enough to supply between 5,000 and 11,000 homes.

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And, with no CO2 emissions, the project will help the B.C. government achieve its clean energy and climate change targets, the group said.

"A huge piece of the COVID-19 economic recovery for B.C. is about First Nations taking charge of their economic, social and environmental futures,” said coalition vice-chair Chief Corrina Leween. “Clean energy is an important part of that process.

“In this case, the Fort Nelson First Nation has determined that one of Canada's largest geothermal projects is a key piece of their economic and sustainability development plans. The Clarke Lake geothermal project is a game-changer project in an area of the province known more for its natural gas reserves than geothermal reserves. FNMPC supports economic sustainability for all its members and we are pleased to be working with Fort Nelson to help them advance the Clarke Lake geothermal project."

Coalition executive director Niilo Edwards added: "The Clarke Lake geothermal project is an energy game-changer not only for B.C. but for Canada — a First Nation driven $100 million clean energy project that will provide clean energy and benefits to northeast B.C. for generations to come.

“FNMPC supports Fort Nelson in their work to secure a commitment from the B.C. government to help fund part of the project. The B.C. government has in the past been very supportive of the Clarke Lake geothermal project and now that the recent B.C. election results are final, we feel now is a great time for the new government to demonstrate its support for clean energy from this project with a financial commitment."

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