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Optimising positive impacts for First Nations through reliable and cost competitive renewable energy projects

The combination of First Nations partnership, governance and equity is unequivocally the factor that unlocks positive impacts for First Nations communities and projects.

That's the conclusion of a new briefing paper by Indigenous Clean Energy (ICE) in Canada which reviewed key factors optimising positive impacts for First Nations through reliable and cost-effective renewable energy projects.

The authors found the most effective clean electricity projects - both in terms of project reliability and performance with positive impacts on Indigenous communities, organisations, and people - embedded three integrated practices in project development, financing, and operations:

  1. Structured Project Partnerships between First Nations entities, and sometimes multiple Nations, and project development proponents.
  2. Active and Collaborative Project Governance, defined in project partnership documentation and practices, that sees project general managers (i.e., developers, utilities, and others) jointly: develop and design; secure environmental and other authorisations and permits; formalise power offtake agreements; manage/mitigate risks; finance (equity and long terms senior debt); and operate projects. 
  3. First Nations Project Equity, with the trend towards equity positions of 20% - 50%, and in a significant number of projects, even higher.

Integrated First Nations partnership-governance-equity was found to be a catalyst that triggers a cascade of outcomes with material value to project development, reliability, and cost competitiveness, as well as First Nations benefits and impacts.

Read the paper


Thanks to Matt Artz for use of the photo.