Green energy development and transitioning British Columbia to the vision of being a green energy powerhouse are priorities for the Government of British Columbia as reflected in the BC Energy Plan and the Climate Action Strategy.

Rural communities, First Nations and the provincial government are all interested in exploring how green energy development can contribute to regional and community economic growth and diversification. This is especially true in the interior of BC where – as a result of the Mountain Pine Beetle (MPB) epidemic – local governments and First Nations are keenly interested in facilitating economic growth and diversification. There is also considerable interest amongst many rural communities and First Nations in the MPB epidemic zone to explore the options of creating and operating community-owned green energy utilities.

The Green Energy as a Rural Economic Development Tool Project was created by the Pine Beetle Epidemic Response Branch in partnership with the three regional Beetle Action Coalitions. The purpose of this project is to increase rural knowledge of green energy opportunities and to develop new tools that will facilitate increased rural benefits from green energy development in the MPB epidemic zone of BC.

The project is made possible by a partnership and funding from the following organizations – Cariboo-Chilcotin Beetle Action Coalition; Columbia Basin Trust; Federal Rural Secretariat; Omineca Beetle Action Coalition; Southern Interior Beetle Action Coalition (SIBAC); and the Province of BC – Pine Beetle Epidemic Response Branch. SIBAC has agreed to act as the project manager and administrator on behalf of the partnership.