The Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB), in partnership with the Taku River Tlingit First Nation owned Tlingit Homeland Energy Limited Partnership, has committed $80 million towards the Atlin Hydroelectricity Expansion project, which involves development of a new 9.2MW hydroelectric facility and 93km transmission line to deliver clean power to the isolated Yukon microgrid.
The CIB said its investment supports closing an infrastructure gap for First Nation communities and municipalities across Yukon Territory which currently rely on grid-level diesel generators to ensure electricity reliability during the winter. The project will directly reduce the need for procurement and use of diesel fuel across the Yukon.
The financing is the CIB’s third commitment under the Indigenous Community Infrastructure Initiative (ICII) and its second partnership opportunity in British Columbia. The Yukon Government, British Columbia Government, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and Crown Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada are also contributing funding to the project.
The project will provide direct employment opportunities for local community members during construction and operations, including trades, labour, plant operations and maintenance, as well as environmental and safety monitors.
“The Atlin project is an example of our Indigenous Community Infrastructure Initiative in action and we are proud of this partnership,” commented Ehren Cory, CEO, Canada Infrastructure Bank. “The CIB’s financing solutions aim to accelerate Indigenous infrastructure investments focused on decarbonizing remote communities in Canada. We are committed to collaborating with First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities to help develop inclusive and sustainable infrastructure.”
“Tlingit Homeland Energy was created to develop the local economy for the benefit of Taku River Tlingit First Nation and the broader community of Atlin. The Atlin Hydroelectric Expansion Project will bring reliable and clean electricity to Yukon, while also providing economic development opportunities for local communities. We are thrilled to be working in partnership with CIB to help to make this important project a reality.” Added Peter Kirby, President, Tlingit Homeland Energy LP.