Remote Community Implementation Program
A program to support clean energy solutions
Note: The most recent RCI funding application round closed March 15, 2013. Thanks to all applicants.
BC's remote communities face the challenge of generating their own energy, the majority of which comes from diesel generators. Diesel power generation, however, is a significant contributor to poor air quality and climate change.
The Remote Community Implementation (RCI) Program assists BC’s remote communities in reducing their dependence on diesel generation by funding capital costs of implementation or construction of clean energy systems, such as hydro, wind and solar energy. It is designed to complement other funding programs that are available to assist communities in clean energy planning and research. (Note: feasibility or research studies are ineligible for RCI funding.)
The RCI Program coordinates a community-to-community mentorship program, including mentorships on solar energy.
The Fraser Basin Council has administered the RCI since it was introduced in 2009 as an independent initiative under the Community Action on Energy and Emissions (CAEE) program. FBC receives guidance from an external advisory committee, including representatives from First Nations organizations, provincial and federal departments, and utilities.
For more information, contact Jim Vanderwal.
Dzawada’enuxw First Nation (Kingcome Inlet) Solar Project
Dzawada’enuxw First Nation (DFN) is an off-grid community of 100 people, four kilometres up the Kincome River, about 120 km northwest of Campbell River. There are 45 homes and eight other buildings in the community, supplied with electricity from four diesel generators operated by DFN. These generators presented challenges: they were expensive to run, operationally unreliable and unsafe at certain times of the year, and environmentally unfriendly.
DFN conducted an energy baseline survey in 2004, and later canvassed energy efficiency options with help from Smart Planning for Communities. Energy savings were targeted. This included promotion of CFL lighting and EnergyStar appliances, distribution of home energy saving kits, and a look at recommissioning a micro-hydro system.
In 2011 DFN began a solar hot water demonstration project in four homes, with help from mentor George Colgate of Xeni Gwet’in First Nation, and funding from the RCI program, Solar BC and DFN.
The pilot homes gained an alternative, clean source of energy that proved reliable even on cloudy days, and achieved cost savings. A bright outcome!