Government of Canada Supports Clean Energy Projects in Saskatchewan With Over $7-Million Investment

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REGINA, SK, June 28, 2023 /CNW/ – The Government of Canada is supporting Indigenous communities and businesses in Saskatchewan to carry out projects that deliver clean and affordable energy. These projects are critical to building long-term prosperity, energy security and affordability, while advancing Canada’s ambitious climate goals.

Today, when speaking at the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, announced investments totalling over $7 million for four projects. The funding is provided through the Smart Renewables and Electrification Pathways (SREPs) program and will enhance the understanding of energy use, support renewable energy development and deployment in partnership with Indigenous communities and work toward economic reconciliation through job creation.    

These projects include:

  • $4,300,000 for Pisim Energy Limited Partnership to deploy two one-megawatt bi-facial solar arrays located in Weyburn, Saskatchewan. The project will create a new revenue source from renewable energy for Ochapowace Nation, while creating employment opportunities during construction and operations.
  • $2,310,563 for Lac La Ronge Indian Band to hire and train community energy coordinators in six Indigenous communities while providing local training, workshops and community engagement to increase understanding of energy efficiency and renewable energy opportunities. The project will also create community energy plans to improve energy efficiency, reduce GHG emissions and implement local energy solutions in the communities.
  • $344,565 for Red Dog Holdings Limited Partnership, the economic development arm of Star Blanket Cree Nation, to build capacity for the implementation of renewable energy projects in their community by training and employing an energy project coordinator, developing a community energy plan, and providing inclusive community engagement and education initiatives, including energy education and training for staff and leadership, Elders and youth.
  • $141,250 for Saskatchewan Power Corporation to build capacity with a comprehensive microgrid feasibility study for the northern settlement of Descharme Lake, that would replace the electric utility interconnection with an efficient, clean and smart microgrid that will improve grid reliability for the community.

These investments demonstrate the Government of Canada’s ongoing commitment to support projects that move toward a clean and sustainable electricity grid while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, advancing economic reconciliation and fighting climate change.


“Climate change is the greatest challenge of our time, but it is also an immense economic opportunity. Building out a clean electricity grid by developing, deploying and operating renewable energy sources means good jobs, lower emissions and economic growth for communities in every region of Canada. Through these investments, the federal government is working with leading Indigenous communities to unlock Saskatchewan’s immense potential to thrive in a low-carbon future.”

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson

Minister of Natural Resources Canada

Pisim Energy Limited Partnership is working to build capacity within Ochapowace Nation as well as providing a long-term revenue stream to support wealth creation through these two solar projects. This is the first step in a longer-term partnership to develop larger solar projects in Saskatchewan.”

Jonathan Cheszes

Lead Consultant on behalf of Pisim Energy Limited Partnership

“The SREP Capacity-Building Funding is creating an opportunity for Star Blanket Cree Nation to continue to lead the way in renewable energy projects in Saskatchewan by building capacity in our community members, staff and leadership to lead meaningful projects that lead to long-term benefits for our community. As a Nation that already has a number of utility-scale projects underway, the SREP Capacity-Building Project is creating an opportunity to bring this work home to our people through the development of a Community Energy Plan and the training of a local Energy Project Coordinator in our community. We are honoured to be among the projects selected in Saskatchewan and are working with our trusted partners and consultants to deliver a project that creates long-term opportunities in our community while moving Saskatchewan and Canada forward in low-carbon electricity.”

Lynda Bigknife

CEO, Star Blanket Cree Nation/Red Dog Holdings Ltd.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the Government of Canada for its significant contribution to our Indigenous communities through the Smart Renewables and Electrification Pathways program. This funding enables us to advance sustainable energy solutions, stimulate job creation, facilitate pivotal training and enhance community involvement. By equipping our community members with knowledge about energy efficiency and renewable energy, we not only empower them but also help in creating a future that aligns with our collective ambition of reducing GHG emissions and fighting climate change. This financial backing goes beyond just funding — it’s a pledge to our future, our growth and our dedication to safeguarding the land that nourishes us and on which our survival depends.”

Tammy Cook-Searson

Chief, Lac La Ronge Indian Band

Quick Facts
  • Federal funding for these projects is provided by Natural Resources Canada’s SREPs program, a $1.56-billion program that provides support for smart renewable energy and electrical grid modernization projects, including projects that support capacity building.
  • Budget 2023 includes $40 billion of historic investments in the grid. This vital investment will be delivered in three ways:
    • A 15 percent refundable tax credit for non-emitting electricity generation, electricity generation from abated natural gas, stationary electricity storage systems including batteries, and equipment for the transmission of electricity between provinces and territories;
    • $20 billion in low-cost financing from the Canada Infrastructure Bank; and
    • Targeted electricity programs, where needed, to ensure critical projects get built.
  • Canada’s 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan: Clean Air, Strong Economy ensures Canada will remain a world leader in clean power. Budget 2023 includes $3 billion over 13 years for Natural Resources Canada for the recapitalization of the SREPs program, to renew the Smart Grid program, and to support Canadian offshore wind power.
    • The recapitalization of SREPs, which would be in addition to the $1.56-billion current budget, will be used to continue to support clean energy projects and support critical regional priorities, as well as expanding program eligibility to include transmission projects.
Related Information
  • Smart Renewables and Electrification Pathways
  • 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan: Clean Air, Strong Economy
  • Budget 2023
  • Smart Grid program

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SOURCE Natural Resources Canada

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