Lhoosk'uz Dené First Nation west of Quesnel has been awarded $875,000 in provincial funding towards 40-kilowatt biomass combined heat and power project. (Lhoosk'uz Dené Nation Facebook photo)

Lhoosk’uz Dené Nation taking steps to transition from diesel

40-kilowatt biomass combined heat and power project coming to Kluskus

A remote First Nation west of Quesnel is receiving provincial support to transition from diesel to clean electricity through a 40-kilowatt biomass combined heat and power plant.

Lhoosk’uz Dené Nation was awarded $875,000 towards the $2.2-million project in Kluskus by B.C.’s Renewable Energy for Remote Communities (RERC) program.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Chief Liliane Squinas said.

For many years diesel and propane have been the primary source for electricity generation and heating for the Indigenous community surrounded by dead or dying pine strands caused by the mountain pine beetle and several wildfires.

Each diesel or propane delivery takes almost six hours on gravel roads, said the province’s Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation.

“It’s a major step for my little First Nation because it’s going to save the delivery costs of the diesel,” Squinas added. “Every year we cannot budget appropriately because of the fluctuation in prices. It’s really difficult to pre-plan.”

The ministry estimates the project will displace 346 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year.

Minister of Energy of Mines and Petroleum Resources, Bruce Ralston, said the province’s goal is to reduce diesel consumption for power generation in remote communities by 80 percent by 2030.

Lhoosk’uz Dené natural resource manager Neil Gauthreau anticipates the generators to be up and running later this year.

“A lot of places in Europe are utilizing these plants where you’re able to take dead or dying trees to chip them up, dry, and then burn, and as you’re burning it’s generating electricity,” he said. “Because we’re so far away we’re dependent entirely on diesel generators at the moment, so having an opportunity to utilize this biomass that’s out in the area, out in the territory, is just a fantastic opportunity for us.”

A combined heat and power plant test site was built in Vancouver by FPInnovations, University of British Columbia and the National Research Council of Canada according to a YouTube video posted by FPInnovations last September.

In the video, FPInnvoations Indigenous program specialist, Christoph Schilling further explains how the plant produces electricity and heat before showing a plant enclosed in a 40-foot shipping container by Finnish company Volter.

Read More: From bottled water to tap: Lhoosk’uz Dené Nation finds solution to water troubles

Lhoosk’uz Dené is also working on completing a packaged water treatment system housed in a shipping container that will provide drinking water at the tap.

If everything goes according to plan, Gauthreau said they should have the plant commissioned and running by the end of April.

Do you have a comment about this story? email:

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Alternative energyFirst Nations

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kira Stowell rode her way to first place in the senior pole bending event at the combined High School Rodeo in Quesnel in the only event of 2020. All regional high school events have been cancelled, although there are still hopes for provincials. (Cassidy Dankochik Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
High school rodeo events cancelled

Rodeos were planned for Williams Lake and Quesnel in early May

Responding to the layoffs announced at Gibraltar Mine north of Williams Lake this week, B.C.’s Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation Bruce Ralston said the ministry is working diligently to see the situation resolved as quickly as possible. (Taseko Mines photo)
Gibraltar Mine permit change consultation period extended to May 7, 2021: energy and mines minister

“We are working dilgently to see this resolved as quickly as possible,” minister said

Quesnel city council approved a pride crosswalk, similar to the one installed in Williams Lake in 2018. Williams Lake Pride supporters Denise Deschene, Charlotte Mortimer, Charlie Konopke (standing) and Pride interm president Chasity-Blu Wright were on hand to see it painted. (File Photo)
COUNCIL BRIEFS: A packed meeting

Quesnel city council was kept busy on April 20

Dawson Road Maintenance crews have been working on road base failures on Highway 20. (Dawson Road Maintenance Facebook photo)
ROAD REPORT: Dawson Road Maintenance provides update on Cariboo Chilcotin road conditions

Road bases still soft, saturated at multiple locations in Cariboo Chilcotin due to spring freshet

A Quesnel Volunteer Firefighter gets a hose on flames shooting from a house trailer completely engulfed in flames. (Cassidy Dankochik Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
WATCH: Fire crews respond to fire in North Quesnel

Emergency crews are on scene near Lear Road for what appears to be a residential fire

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Nanaimo RCMP say a man was injured while pouring gunpowder on a backyard fire in Harewood on Wednesday, April 21. (File photo)
Nanaimo man hospitalized after pouring gunpowder onto backyard fire

RCMP investigating explosion in Harewood also came across a still for making alcohol on property

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. sees 1,006 COVID-19 cases Thursday, ‘alarming’ 502 in hospital

Vaccine bookings for people aged 60 and older set to start

Most Read