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Ontario announces launch of Aboriginal Energy Partnership Program

The Ontario Power Authority has announced the launch of the Aboriginal Energy Partnerships Program, designed to develop hydropower assets and boost the supply of clean energy.

The goal of the AEPP is to assist First Nation and Metis communities in developing renewable energy generation facilities while helping to build the province’s energy supply, the Ontario Waterpower Association reported.

The three components of the program have been designed to work in concert to achieve this goal:

Aboriginal Renewable Energy Fund which assists with some of the initial project development costs associated with First Nation and Metis community renewable energy projects; 

Aboriginal Renewable Energy Network which is a Web-based resource (www.aboriginalenergy.ca) of information relating to conservation and renewable energy development that will continue to evolve based on the needs and input from Ontario’s Aboriginal communities; and,

Aboriginal Community Energy Plans which will assist communities to identify and act upon their local conservation and renewable energy development opportunities.

Over the last five years, the waterpower industry has worked with Aboriginal communities and government agencies through a “Waterpower Working Group” to design and deliver a series of practical programs and products focused on enhancing community awareness and understanding of waterpower and improving the ability for communities to be actively involved in project development.

Recently, Ontario's government announced that contract offers have been awarded for more than 180 renewable energy projects, including hydropower projects. Approved under the province's Feed-in Tariff (FIT), the projects are part of the largest green energy investment of its kind in Canadian history.

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