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Diane Archie: Update on the 2030 energy strategy

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Mr. Chairman, strengthening our leadership and authority on climate change and intensifying efforts to stabilize the cost of electricity is a priority for the Government of the Northwest Territories. The same is true of the increasing use of alternative and renewable energies.

Today, as part of our government’s integrated approach to reporting on climate change, we will release four reports, including the Energy Initiatives Report 2020-2021. This report describes nearly $ 38 million in energy-related investments the GNWT made over the past fiscal year.

These investments not only reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and help us take concrete action on climate change, they also provide our communities with reliable energy and stabilize costs for residents. This supports the goals of the Northwest Territories Energy Strategy 2030 and the Climate Change Strategic Framework 2030.

Mr. Speaker, projects that have a positive impact on residents and communities include those under the Greenhouse Gas Grant Program. One of three projects approved this year by the GNWT was $ 1.1 million to install two wood pellet boilers at two schools in Yellowknife; Mildred Hall and Range Lake North. Once these boilers are installed and operational, they are expected to reduce up to 578 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year.

Last year, the GNWT contributed over $ 5.3 million to the Arctic Energy Alliance, resulting in almost $ 2 million in incentives. These funds support energy efficiency, conservation and alternative energy programs and services. Residents, businesses and communities all benefit. This fiscal year, the organization offered 1,000 more discounts than in 2019-2020, despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We continue to advance key projects that will help us reduce greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation in diesel communities by 25%, one of the strategic goals of Energy Strategy 2030.

This summer, the GNWT and the federal government announced $ 60 million in funding for the construction of the Fort Providence-Kakisa transmission line. This project will virtually eliminate the use of diesel fuel for power generation in these communities and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 3,000 tonnes per year.

Mr. Chairman, the Inuvik Wind Project is another important initiative under Energy Strategy 2030. This 3.5 megawatt wind turbine will reduce diesel consumption by up to 30% in our largest off-grid community. The authorization phase of the project has been completed and it has moved on to final design. The start of work is tentatively scheduled for winter 2022.

When it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the GNWT is leading by example through the Capital Improvement Fund. This program carries out energy efficiency projects for GNWT facilities in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Projects completed in the last fiscal year have reduced government emissions by two kilotonnes.

The GNWT continues to advance the Taltson hydropower expansion project. Technical work on transmission routing options is also underway. We expect a preliminary business case for the project later in the year.

Mr. President, although we have achieved a lot in the first three years of implementing the 2030 Energy Strategy, we must continue to move forward. It is time to take stock of the lessons we have learned from implementing this strategy. We must combine this learning with new research and analysis to inform a renewed strategy and the accompanying energy action plan.

As the GNWT leads this review and continues implementation, we will continue to engage directly with Indigenous communities and governments and organizations to ensure their participation, partnership and empowerment in the proposal and implementation of energy solutions.

The GNWT cannot achieve its energy and climate change goals by acting alone. We need all Northerners to play a role. By continuing to work together, we can make it happen.

Quyanainni, Mr. Speaker.