Intake open for IESO’s Indigenous Energy Support Program

With Indigenous communities often at the forefront of Ontario’s energy transformation, the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) is providing up to $15 million for Indigenous energy planning, infrastructure development and education.

“First Nations and Métis communities are critical partners in the energy transformation and the IESO is committed to building enduring relationships and inclusive partnerships with Indigenous Peoples,” said Vice-President of Corporate Relations, Stakeholder Engagement and Innovation at the IESO Carla Nell in an April release. “The Indigenous Energy Support Program (IESP) is one part of this commitment, promoting Indigenous leadership in the sector while moving the needle on energy projects that will support the growth and decarbonization of Ontario’s electricity system.”

The 2024 intake window for the IESP is open and runs until August 30. Indigenous communities are eligible to apply for funding under one, or all, of the following streams:

Capacity Building, such as professional training, community engagement, youth and elder workshops and the hiring of a Community Energy Champion to help identify, plan and implement energy-related priorities for their community.

Economic Development projects, such as renewable installations, transmission projects, storage installations, sector partnerships and capital projects.

Energy Resilience and Monitoring activities, such as energy planning, project monitoring, impact assessments and energy auditing.

“The IESP has been very beneficial to our community,” said Chief R. Donald Maracle, Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte. “With this funding, our community energy team will be able to develop the skills they need to build and maintain our renewable energy assets. We will also be able to hire a community energy champion to lead projects that will strengthen our energy resilience, reduce costs for our members and create economic opportunities for future generations.”

Since the inception of the IESP in 2009, the IESO has awarded $74 million in funding to 170 Indigenous communities and organizations. Some examples of past projects include training and skills-building courses to work on large grid-scale battery storage systems, the installation of solar to support community energy needs and the development of local micro-grids.

The IESP is an important foundational step towards the longer-term goal of achieving fair, equitable and inclusive participation in the electricity sector. This is especially important as the pace of Ontario’s energy transformation accelerates and First Nations and Métis communities become partners that bring essential knowledge, experiences and perspectives to energy discussions.

For more information about this year’s IESP, visit the IESO’s website.

The IESO operates Ontario’s power grid 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, ensuring Ontarians receive a reliable and cost-effective source of power when and where they need it. It works with sector partners and engages with communities across Ontario to plan and prepare for the province’s electricity needs now and into the future.

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