Construction has started on The Métis Nation of Alberta’s (MNA) Métis Crossing Solar Project (MCSP), a 4.86-megawatt community generation solar installation at Métis Crossing.
The MCSP is a collaboration between the Métis Nation of Alberta, the Town of Smoky Lake, and Smoky Lake County. This is the largest wholly Métis-owned solar project in Alberta.
With target energization in Spring/Summer 2023, the MCSP will generate enough electricity to power all MNA and affiliate buildings, an amount equivalent to approximately 1,200 Alberta homes. This will offset the MNA’s electricity use and displace 4,700 tonnes of CO2-equivalent annually, equivalent to taking 1,500 vehicles off the road.
“As we face severe impacts of climate change, the MNA is making investments in renewable energy and sustainability a priority,” said Métis Nation of Alberta president, Audrey Poitras. “While progressing towards Self-Government and the ratification of the Otipemisiwak Métis Government Constitution, preserving Métis traditional and cultural ways of life is so important and we’re grateful to our community partners for helping make this happen.”
The MCSP was developed as a key initiative of the MNA Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP) to help reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, increase Métis involvement and awareness of climate change, and provide economic and local community benefits, such as infrastructure investment, tax revenue for the county, job creation and revenue from the sale of clean energy.
“As Métis, our connection with the land is an essential element of our story and we strive to integrate sustainability throughout all of the infrastructure and programming at Métis Crossing, making this Indigenous partnership project a natural extension of that goal,” said CEO of Métis Crossing, Juanita Marois.
Profits generated from the MCSP will be used to fund social and economic development initiatives and programs through the MNA, benefitting Métis people across Alberta. A portion of project profits will also support a Community Development Fund to encourage sustainable development in the local community.
Funding for the project has been provided by Natural Resources Canada’s Smart Renewables and Electrification Pathways (SREPs) program, the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre’s Municipal Community Generation Challenge, and Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Low Carbon Economy Fund.
ATCO has been selected as the partner to construct the solar project through a competitive bidding process.
Featured image: (Métis Crossing Solar Project)