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Solar in BC Interior -Indigenous partnership Jun 27, 2023 Okanagan Nation Alliance, Upper Nicola Band, BC Hydro sign agreement for long-awaited solar project PentictonNow The Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA) and Upper Nicola Band (UNB) have signed an agreement with BC Hydro, which will move a solar project near Merritt forward.

Under the agreement, the UNB and ONA will jointly develop a 15MWac solar project located on UNB’s Nicola Lake IR No.1, situated 30 km northeast of Merritt, close to the BC Hydro Nicola substation.

"The signing of this Electricity Purchase Agreement marks a significant milestone for the Syilx Okanagan Nation," chief Clarence Louie, ONA tribal chair, stated.

“We are proud to be at the forefront of renewable energy initiatives, and this solar project exemplifies our dedication to self-sufficiency and the well-being of all Syilx communities.”

The agreement was committed under the Interior Lower Mainland Final Agreement, which was reached between the three parties in 2011.

Photo Credit: ONA The project will interconnect to the BC Hydro substation, further bolstering the region’s renewable energy capacity, says ONA.

It will also provide economic opportunities and jobs for local communities. "We are excited to bring this historic solar project into reality after many years of project development and negotiation with BC Hydro,” said chief Dan Manuel, Upper Nicola Band, expressing his enthusiasm for the partnership.

“It is a testament to our shared commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainable development.”

Chief Robert Louie, Westbank First Nation, added that the agreement demonstrates the collaboration and commitment from Syilx leaders to providing sustainable economic opportunities for the regions and their communities.

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