Tahltan make largest First Nation clean energy investment in B.C. history

The Northwest B.C. nation is now part owner of a clean energy asset valued at over $2.5 billion

The Tahltan Nation has purchased a five per-cent stake in three run-of-the-river projects in Northwest B.C., marking the largest clean energy investment in B.C. history by a First Nation.

The $124.3 million purchase from Axium Infrastructure Canada and Manulife Financial Corporation is for what’s collectively known as the Northwest British Columbia Hydro Electric Facilities. The asset is valued at over $2.5 billion.

READ MORE: Tahltan reach benefits agreement over Seabridge’s massive KSM gold mine project

President of the Tahltan Central Government, Chad Norman Day says the deal is one of several recent examples of how the nation is using its collective title and rights to foster economic independence.

“A buy-in of a project this size is extremely substantial and puts on us a good path of being self-determining in the future,” he says. “Anytime we better position ourselves to be economically independent, it gives us more leverage with future opportunities that may arise with other industries across the territory.”

The facilities comprise of the Forrest Kerr, McLymont Creek and Volcano Creek run-of-the-river projects with a combined power output of 287 megawatts. All three projects are located in traditional Tahltan territory.

The nation put up $28 million of its own dollars in the purchase with bond financing covering the remaining $124.3 million. Day expects seven-figure returns in the first year, with annual increases for 56 years until the loan is paid off.

READ MORE: Day reelected president of Tahltan Central Government

Originally owned by AltaGas, the facilities have been in operation since 2014 and were underpinned by three separate 60-year, fully-indexed electricity purchase agreements with BC Hydro.

Day expects the lifespan of the project to exceed that time frame.

“The thought had always been once that 60-year project expires into the future the river providing all this power will continue flowing in a good way, and the asset will continue generating money. So we’re hoping that the projects will provide power for 100 years and thereafter.”

The Tahltan Nation originally became equity owners in one of the facilities in late 2014 after purchasing a 2.7 per cent interest.

In June 2018, AltaGas sold 35 per cent of its interest in the facilities, to a joint venture company for $922 million. More than a year later, AltaGas announced the sale of its remaining 55 per cent interest to Axium Infrastructure Canada and Manulife Financial Corporation for $1.39 billion.

The Tahltan Nation is located in Northwest British Columbia and comprises the communities of Iskut, Dease Lake and Telegraph Creek. The Territory spans 95,933 square km of Northwest B.C., or the equivalent of 11 per cent of the province.

twitter.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19 tests come back negative in remote First Nation community

“There are no suspected cases in the community at this time.”

Wildway Farms open for business in Hagensborg

Local entrepreneurs Gwyneth Anderson and Joseph Battensby are hard at work at their new business

Young boy finds mask stolen during recent break-in

Gage Pootlass immediately took the mouse mask back to its rightful owner, Kathleen Booth

Bear gets into garbage at Thorsen Creek Landfill after waste disposed into wrong bin

A grizzly bear accessed garbage that was put in the wrong bin and ended up outside the electric fence

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

Teen killer Kelly Ellard gets day parole extension, allowing up to 5 days at home

Ellard is serving a life sentence for the 1997 murder of 14-year-old Reena Virk

Andrew Scheer likely marking last day in House of Commons as Opposition leader

Today’s Commons sitting is one of two scheduled for August

Deaths feared after train derails amid storms in Scotland

Stonehaven is on the line for passenger trains linking Aberdeen with the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow

DFO says 5 aggrieved B.C First Nations were consulted on fisheries plan

Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations calls response ‘a sham,’ adding DFO never incorporates their views

Lower Mainland woman gives birth on in-laws’ driveway

Frédérique Gagnon new son is appropriately named after Norse trickster god

Man, 54, charged in connection with fatal attack of Red Deer doctor

Doctor was killed in his walk-in clinic on Monday

UPDATE: Two dead after fishing boat sinks off southern Vancouver Island

Shawnigan Lake-registered Arctic Fox II went down off Cape Flattery, west of Victoria

Most Read