Minister of Indigenous Relations Richard Feehan and Wetaskiwin-Camrose MLA Bruce Hinkley with members of Ermineskin Cree Nation’s Council and Neyaskweyahk Group board members in front of the new solar array. (Photo contributed)

Maskwacis Mall has gone solar

Ermineskin Cree Nation receives provincial funding for project

Maskwacis Mall has a new solar power system to reduce emissions and save money.

Ermineskin Cree Nation partnered with the province to install a 61.2-kilowatt solar panel system that will save the community nearly $8,000 a year in utility costs and allow the community to invest in other local priorities.

The solar array, which consists of a group of solar panels, will produce the equivalent energy of powering 10 homes over the course of a year.

The panels, installed with support from Alberta’s Indigenous Solar Program, are also expected to generate 73.4 megawatt hours yearly and prevent almost 980 tonnes of greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere.

The $184,304 provincial grant for this project is part of $35 million in funding available in 2017-18 for Indigenous climate leadership programs that help Indigenous communities respond to climate change and provide greater energy security.

“Our Nation is committed to making the world better for our children and for future generations. We appreciate the Alberta government’s support for green projects in our community. All of us must take action to make a real difference,” said Chief Craig Makinaw of the Ermineskin Cree Nation.

In addition to the solar funds, Ermineskin Cree Nation also received:

  • $194,304 through the Alberta Indigenous Community Energy Program to examine potential energy-conservation measures for a number of community buildings and homes.
  • $87,556 through the Alberta Indigenous Green Energy Development Program to support the development of two new solar photovoltaic farms to convert sunlight directly into energy.
  • $100,000 through the Alberta Indigenous Climate Planning Program to study the Nation’s electricity distribution system.

The grants will help the community reduce greenhouse gas emissions, make energy bills more affordable and support local jobs.



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