Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation and Terry Hui’s Concord Pacific Complete Canada’s Largest Solar Project
Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation and Terry Huis Concord Pacific complete Canada’s largest solar project
FORT CHIPEWYAN, Alberta, Feb. 01, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Terry Hui of Concord Pacific and Chief Allan Adam of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN) are pleased to announce the successful completion of the commissioning of three solar farms in their ACFN give -Concord Solar Partnership portfolio. ACFN, including Council Member Tim Flett, recently visited Vancouver to discuss their renewable energy plans and the potential for future business collaborations with Concord Pacific. These facilities, which began operations between June and October 2022 and officially opened in late 2022 with traditional indigenous blessings and a ceremony, will significantly increase Alberta’s renewable energy production, help Canada meet its climate change goals and ease the strain on the electricity market reduce from Alberta. which experienced periods of record high prices in the past year.
The Coaldale, Monarch and Vulcan solar farms are just the first $145 million step in the partnership between Concord Pacific’s wholly owned subsidiary, Concord Green Energy, and ACFN Green Energy. ACFN has independently raised its $32 million direct equity investment to create the largest direct investment in an indigenous solar project to date completed in Canada. In addition, 50 percent of the labor was provided by the local Blood Tribe, and a number of indigenous subcontractors also contributed to the project’s success.
Together, the three photovoltaic solar parks in southern Alberta cover approximately 480 acres and have a generating capacity of 67.6 MW AC (106 MW DC). As a commercial operation, the project is expected to deliver 150 gigawatt hours (GWh) of annual capacity to Alberta’s power grid. With the completion of the battery storage facility currently under construction in 2023, the three plants will absorb about 26 GWh of electricity annually, increasing the renewable energy benefits of the project. More information on the project’s storage capabilities will be announced this spring.
For the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, whose 1,280 members reside primarily in Fort Chipewyan, Fort McMurray, Edmonton and Fort Smith, partnering with Concord Green Energy is part of their economic diversification strategy toward economic self-sufficiency and creating long-term revenue streams aligned with their environmental goals and values. While the nation owns a major energy services company that supports Canada’s tar sands and is an active player in recent infrastructure joint ventures for power lines and pipelines, it has also been hard hit by climate change, the tar sands industry and industrial water use and dams on its rivers affected.
“ACFN has proven to be a valuable partner. They have the expertise and financial capacity to handle large and complex transactions typically undertaken by institutional investors. We appreciate their vision in creating a strong balance sheet with income-generating assets for future generations,” said Terry Hui, President and CEO of Concord Pacific. “Building green energy has been a key part of Concord Pacific’s commitment to sustainable development. These projects are a valuable addition to our portfolio of over 20 major renewable energy projects currently in operation and development. Partnering with leading First Nations like ACFN will play an important role in our investment strategy, particularly in relation to our focus on renewable energy.”
“The Chipewyan Dene see the effects of climate change getting worse every year,” said Chief Allan Adam of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation. “We accept that the oil sands industry is an important part of our economy and creates jobs and income for our people, but the world is changing and everyone needs to use clean energy that doesn’t pollute the environment and drive climate change out of control. ACFN is excited to partner with Concord Pacific on these solar investments to create a long-term revenue stream that aligns with our environmental responsibilities and values.”
In 2018, ACFN completed a Green Energy Business Investment Strategy as part of its sustainable community energy and economic development and diversification plan. The Nation co-owns a 2.6MW solar farm on the isolated community grid in Fort Chipewyan that opened in 2019 and is currently undertaking over a dozen other clean energy projects, including hydroponic food production and energy efficiency retrofits.
“Clean renewable power is now the most cost-effective option for consumers in Alberta,” added Jason Schulz, Executive Director, ACFN Strategic Advisory Services and Director, ACFN Green Energy. “It also helps Alberta meet its climate change goals and is a critical part of ACFN’s business diversification strategy, which we will continue to develop. With the completion of this monumental solar project in Alberta and these recent renewable energy discussions with Concord Pacific, we feel energized for the future.”
Concord Pacific is continually committed to environmental stewardship in all aspects of its operations. For more than 30 years, Concord Pacific has built green buildings and large sustainable communities that leverage density and proximity to public transportation, green spaces, and community amenities to minimize travel and energy use. Through Concord Green Energy, Concord Pacific has grown into a leader in clean energy over the past 12 years through numerous hydro, solar and wind projects in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Alberta.
Collectively, Concord Green Energy projects are currently generating enough energy to power every apartment in downtown Vancouver. Concord Green Energy has royalty agreements with the Squamish Nation for the Skookum Run of River project in Squamish and with both the Squamish and Lil’wat Nations for Concord’s Wedgemount Run of River in Whistler. Concord Pacific also has real estate development relationships related to the St. Paul’s hospital site with the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh nations of BC.
ACFN and Concord recognize, respect and sincerely appreciate that these solar farms are located on the traditional lands of the Blackfoot Indians within Treaty 7 territory. The partnership is launching programs to give back to Treaty 7 Indigenous communities and others close to their projects by supporting education and training to better integrate the benefits of clean energy systems into their homes, community buildings and other facilities. These facilities will also generate significant ongoing municipal tax revenue as well as rental income to the owners on whose private land they are located.
For additional background, select photos and videos: http://bit.ly/3HJvBlO
A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/4483a01a-2b06-4dfd-b241-8d117a4bb32c
Media Contacts: Concord Pacific Peter Udzenija Director of Corporate Relations [email protected] 604-762-4872 concordpacific.com concordgreenenergy.ca ACFN Green Energy Jason Schulz ED Strategic Advisory Services & Director [email protected] 780-215 – 6527 acfn.com