Date: June 2, 2021
Maskwacis, AB – Ermineskin Cree Nation (ECN) and Neyaskweyahk Group of Companies Inc.(NGCI) is pleased to announce they are the successful recipient of the Blue Sky Award presented by Parkland Airshed Management Zone (PAMZ). NGCI is the corporate division of ECN located at Maskwacis, Alberta. PAMZ Blue Skies Awards 2021 – YouTube
ECN & NGCI received it’s award by virtual ceremony on June 2, 2021 from Chairman of PAMZ, Aaron Rognvaldson and Executive Director Kevin Warren. NGCI is recognized by PAMZ for taking exemplary steps to improve air quality in the PAMZ region, particularly in the “Innovation and Technology” category which is for it’s 1MW Neyaskweyahk Sundancer Solar Generation Project.
Description of Neyaskweyahk Sundancer
Neyaskwyahk Sundancer Solar Project occupies roughly six acres of reserve land. The land permit allocated 12 acres for the Sundancer including the transformer, metering equipment, switchgear. The Fortis Alberta grid interconnection was sized during Phase 1 to allow expansion to a total of 2.0 MW.
- The Ermineskin Cree Nation took the time to check the lands that they had available to ensure that the solar generation project would not negatively impact any of the surrounding residents, wildlife, or utility systems.
- The Ermineskin Cree Nation also partnered with the neighboring Montana First Nation and their solar project to share in the cost of the technical modifications necessary for the utility lines servicing the area. As a result of this investment, more generation projects or expansions can be added to the area utilities at a very low cost.
- The Sundancer solar project started producing energy on March 25th, 2020.
- Already since then, 1707 MWh of solar energy has been exported to the grid (as of April 21, 2021).
- 973 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent was offset, by Alberta’s TIER standards
- The air quality equivalent of burning 414 000 litres of gasoline, 362 000 litres of diesel, or 488 tonnes of coal has been avoided
- After the success of the first project was proven, the Ermineskin Cree Nation immediately begin planning for the development of a second MW of expansion, doubling the size and value of the solar farm.
- Local employment is another goal of the project. The Ermineskin Cree Nation is providing training for some of their own people to learn how to meet the government requirements for measuring and registering the carbon dioxide offsets under Alberta’s TIER program.
To achieve self-sufficiency and sustainability through long-term investments and business development
- The Neyaskweyahk Sundancer is a long-life project with consistent financial returns.
To promote and maintain viable and profitable businesses and investments which create employment and enhance human capacity.
- The Neyaskweyahk Sundancer has created some employment and enhances capacity in the short term and, through long term profitability will support NGCI’s future development and investment opportunities and indirectly contribute to further employment and capacity growth.