Governments getting together to reduce diesel-generated electricity use in off-grid communities

The government of four provinces and two of Canada’s territories have created a pan-Canadian task force to reduce the use of diesel fuel to generate electricity in remote communities.

Manitoba, Quebec, Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, Yukon and the Northwest Territories announced the agreement July 21, saying reducing the use of diesel-generated electricity can reduce harmful emissions, strengthen local economies and create well-paying jobs.

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There are nearly 300 off-grid communities with a total population of nearly 200,000 people in the country, said a press release announcing the task force’s establishment, including aboriginal and non-aboriginal settlements, villages and cities as well as commercial outposts and camps for mining, fishing and forestry activities. About 175 of the 300 communities are First Nations, Innu, Inuit or Métis, comprising approximately 130,000 people.

Manitoba will host the first meeting of the task force. Members will also consider ideas from upcoming discussions at the Renewables in Remote Microgrids Conference in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories Sept. 16-17 of this year.

“Many remote communities that are not on Canada’s main electricity grid can only use expensive and greenhouse gas-emitting diesel fuel to generate electricity,” said Manitoba Municipal Government Minister Drew Caldwell. “Establishing this task force will allow us to share ideas and partner on projects that can help remote communities reduce their reliance on diesel fuel.”

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