Hesquiaht transitions to green energy

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By Melissa Renwick, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Hot Springs Cove, BC - In early November, Hesquiaht First Nation turned off the diesel generator that normally powers their entire community at Hot Springs Cove, off the west coast of Vancouver Island.
It was the first time the nation ran solely on green energy, which was made possible by the Ah'ta'apq Creek Hydropower Project.
“It was extremely exciting for us,” said Hesquiaht First Nation Elected Chief Joshua Charleson. “It’s exactly what we wanted.”
Widely championed by the late-chief Richard Lucas, the project has been over 10 years in the making.
When Charleson was elected in 2020, he said the project “landed” in his lap and attributed much of the groundwork to Lucas.
The late-chief worked “tirelessly” to secure funding and the necessary resources to complete the project, he described.
“A lot of work has been put into this,” said Charleson. “Everybody's just super thrilled that it works because it's been such a long time coming.”
Prior to switching to hydro power, the nation used around 232,000 litres of diesel each year, which cost roughly $600,000, he said.
The project will cut around 80 per cent of the community’s reliance on diesel, he added.
“Ever since I can remember there have been barges of diesel that have had to come up to Hot Springs Cove,” said Charleson. “It's always dangerous transporting anything by water, especially during winter. This is really good for the whole region – for the sensitive ecosystem in...continued.

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