The Honourable Joyce Murray, Minister of Digital Government, on behalf of the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, the Honourable George Heyman, B.C. Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, together with Chief Councillor Roxanne Robinson of the Kitasoo Xai'xais Nation and Mike Overend, Director of Development for the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association, announced funding for two green infrastructure projects that will be key to transitioning the communities to renewable energy. These projects include the modernization and expansion of the Klemtu hydropower plant, and the installation of solar panels and vehicle charging stations for the Thompson Okanagan Inspiration Centre.
The Government of Canada is investing a total of nearly $4 million in these two projects through the Green Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. The Government of British Columbia is contributing over $800,000 through the CleanBC Communities Fund. The recipients are contributing a combined total of over $700,000.
Klemtu Hydropower Project
Built over 40 years ago, the hydropower plant in Klemtu is in need of upgrades due to aging components, notably to increase its capacity and reduce the occurrence of blackouts. The project includes replacing the penstock system to reactivate the original turbine, which will provide a significant source of renewable energy for the remote community of over 300 people.
The upgrades will also help decrease Klemtu's reliance on fossil fuel, and significantly reduce carbon emissions. This project will create an opportunity for growth in the community through job creation, and will also support the construction of more homes in the area.
The Government of Canada is investing over $3.89 million in this project. The Government of British Columbia is contributing over $778,000 through the CleanBC Communities Fund. For its part, the Kitasoo Xai'xais Nation is contributing over $653,000. These amounts build on previous investments from the Government of Canada ($518,000) and the Government of British Columbia (approximately $5.5 million).
Thompson Okanagan Inspiration Centre
This Centre, which promotes and sells local Indigenous art, is a key stop-over for anyone visiting the region. The Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association will acquire and install solar panels and three electric vehicle charging stations, which will be available for tourists and visitors. The solar panels will be used as the main source of electricity for the building, in addition to powering the vehicle charging stations.
Through this and future projects, the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association is planning to transition to a net-zero facility in the near future.
The Government of Canada is investing over $91,000 in this project. The Government of British Columbia is contributing over $57,000. For its part, the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association is contributing over $80,000.