The Three Nations Energy Solar farm was launched November 17, 2020 with a ceremony at the solar farm in Fort Chipewyan featuring drummers, prayers and messages from local leadership and the directors of 3NE. This system is the largest solar PV system in a remote Canadian community.
Located on approximately 8 hectares of land, the solar farm is a $7.76 million project consisting of 6,500 solar modules that produces 2.2 megawatts. This facility replaces 25 per cent of the diesel generated electricity in Fort Chipewyan with solar generated electricity and harkens a new era of clean energy in Fort Chipewyan.
Three Nations Energy (3NE) is owned in equal shares by the Athabasca Chipewyan and Mikisew Cree First Nations and the Fort Chipewyan Métis Nation. This means the community now owns one quarter of the energy production in Fort Chipewyan.
- The solar farm provides about 40 jobs to local community members.
- It reduces dependence on diesel fuel (an estimated 800,000 litres per year will be saved – the equivalent of approximately 25 large tank truck trips per year);
- It reduces greenhouse gas emissions (a reduction of 2,170 tonnes of CO2e per year)
- It reduces noise and odour from the diesel generators.
- It also reduced wear and tear on the ice road.
The community of Fort Chipewyan is grateful to the Government of Alberta and the Government of Canada for its financial support to this project.
Beyond the construction and operation of the solar farm, 3NE will continue to serve as a vehicle for the Nations to work together on other renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives.