Meadow Lake Tribal Council announces Biomass centre to promote clean energy solutions
- EFN Staff | May 23, 2019
The Meadow Lake Tribal Council (MLTC) announced a Biomass center has been approved to be built starting next month and will take two years to construct. This center is an investment in infrastructure to promote clean energy solutions and create a strong low-carbon economy and sustainable future for Canadians.
On May 22, 2019, Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, on behalf of Francois-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, and Saskatchewan Trade and Export Development Minister/Meadow Lake MLA Jeremy Harrison announced funding for a major green energy project in Meadow Lake.
“Transitioning to cleaner power is essential to protecting the environment, creating more sustainable communities and building a clean future for our kids and grandkids,” said Bennett in a media release. “This important Indigenous–owned project will create good middle-class jobs, boost regional economic growth and serve as a model for communities across Saskatchewan looking to transition to renewable energy and promote a greener way of life for all Canadians.”
The Government of Canada is contributing $52.5 million to this project through the Green Infrastructure Stream of the Canada-Saskatchewan Integrated Bilateral Agreement under the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program.
“The Meadow Lake Bioenergy Project is the first biomass green energy project for Saskatchewan, and this announcement is an exciting step in making this new bioenergy power plant a reality,” Harrison said. “Congratulations to Meadow Lake Tribal Council and MLTC Resource Development on being one step closer to green energy production that will support improved economic outcomes for their member nations, the community of Meadow Lake and our region.” The First Nations-owned Meadow Lake Tribal Council Bioenergy Centre will generate carbon-neutral green power using sawmill biomass residuals. It will be the first plant of its kind in Saskatchewan and is expected to produce 6.6 megawatts of baseload electricity to power approximately 5,000 homes with greener energy.
“Through this kind of affirmative action, Canada and Saskatchewan demonstrate their commitment to ensuring ongoing and sustained participation of Indigenous communities in green energy infrastructure development, climate change mitigation, improving environmental outcomes and supporting our local forestry-based economy in the Meadow Lake area,” said Meadow Lake Tribal Council Tribal Chief Richard Ben. “Investment such as this makes good sense as it enables MLTC and the Meadow Lake First Nations to create ongoing economic opportunity and hope for our people.”
”The project is expected to decrease greenhouse gas emissions by more than one million tonnes over 25 years and reduce smoke and other harmful matter to significantly improve air quality for residents. Revenues from the plant will also support essential programs and services including child and family services, education and health and youth development for the nine-member First Nations comprising the Meadow Lake Tribal Council.
“The City of Meadow Lake applauds this federal funding announcement for the MLTC Bioenergy Centre,” Meadow Lake Mayor Gary Vidal said. “The Meadow Lake Tribal Council has a significant role in the local economy of Meadow Lake. This project will serve to strengthen MLTC’s continuing growth and its ongoing support of economic development in the area.”
In addition to the Government of Canada contribution of $52.5 million for this project, a further $250,000 is being provided by the Indigenous Services Canada and Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs’ Community Opportunities Readiness Program.