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June 10-12, 2025
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First Nations Renewable Energy Projects - Reducing CO2 In Saskatchewan - Global Energy Show

How First Nations Renewable Energy Projects Are Shaping Canada’s Future

In Canada, it’s no secret that there is a growing demand for renewable energy generation. For Canada to reach its net-zero targets in the next few decades, clean energy projects are essential. In fact, clean energy projects such as solar projects are already taking place across the country, including in Indigenous communities. These renewable energy projects are focused on sustainable development while also creating jobs for those living in the communities. 

Glen Pratt, CEO of George Gordon Developments Ltd, sat down with Rachel Gregory, Digital Host at The Global Energy Show, to discuss how his company is leading the renewable energy sector in First Nation business development.  

The Importance of First Nations Renewable Projects and Reducing Saskatchewan's CO2 Emissions

First Nations Renewable Energy Projects

Rachel: Could you tell us about George Gordon Developments and the work you do being a leader in First Nation business development.

Glen: George Gordon Development is actually the business arm for the George Gordon First Nation. We've developed a strategy to create wealth and employment and different opportunities for our community. We have a strategy that really looks at renewable energy as one of our key pillars, so that's how we came about being involved in the Pesakastew Solar Project.

Indigenous Communities Involvement in Solar Energy 

Rachel: With that, what is the Pesakastew Solar Project?

Glen: Sask Power created the First Nations Power Authority to create the opportunity for First Nations to be involved in the renewable energy sector. And as a result, we bid on the ten-megawatt solar project. We partnered up with Red Dog Holdings, which is owned by the Star Blanket Cree Nation. We also partnered with Natural Forces, a developer, and our partnership won the bid for ten megawatts. 

In terms of economic benefits, we'll be receiving revenue from the project for 20 years, so it gives us an opportunity to plan long term. And to me, that's a real opportunity for our community and for our First Nation in our business corporation because it creates stability and allows us to sort of COVID-proof our business strategy.

How Solar Farms are Positively Impacting First Nation Communities

Rachel: Congrats on winning the bid. What is the purpose of this solar farm? What do you hope to achieve?

Glen: Number one, we want to create a new opportunity. From there, we want to gain experience in the renewable sector by learning how to construct the project and create some employment for our community members. We can easily put up to 22 people to work during the project. We’ll work with our partners, whether it be the provincial government, the federal government, the town of Wayburn, and of course, Natural Forces and Red Dog. It's a real opportunity to enter the renewable energy sector. Being that it's a solar project, hopefully, the sun will continue to shine, and as a result, we'll continue to make power and sell that power to Sask Power.

How Indigenous Clean Energy Projects are Shaping Canada’s Future

Rachel: What environmental impact will this solar farm have in reducing CO2 emissions in Saskatchewan?

Glen: Yes, it'll have a positive environmental impact. Ten megawatts of solar is a large operation. We are a small utility now, and annually we'll be removing a number of tonnes from being emitted into the environment.

Let's just contribute to hopefully looking after mother earth and playing our role while at the same time developing new opportunities in the renewable sector.

Next Steps for the George Gordon First Nation

Rachel: What are the next steps for the George Gordon First Nation in this project,

Glen: We just signed an opportunity for the feds to contribute to the project. We're hoping to begin construction in May and to have it completed by October of 2021. We hope to turn the lights on in December of 2021 and begin creating power and selling it back to the grid to Sask Power.

Rachel: Awesome. That's really soon. Thank you so much, Glen, and that's our five questions for today. It was so great to learn about your solar project, and congratulations on winning that bid.

Continuing the Clean Energy Transition Journey 

Governments and the energy sector must continue to work together to support Canada’s clean energy transition.

By placing clean energy as their top priority, George Gordon Developments’ solar project has positively impacted First Nation community members with employment opportunities while uplifting local economies and reducing carbon emissions. Future partnerships will help George Gordon Developments and similar First Nations solar energy projects lead the way towards a sustainable future for Canada. 

If you're interested in learning more about topics like Indigenous clean energy projects in Canada, register for the next Global Energy Show today.

First Nations Renewable Energy Projects - Reducing CO2 In Saskatchewan - Global Energy Show

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