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Natural Resources Canada: Government of Canada Invests in Clean E

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 7, 2009) - More First Nations communities across Canada will be able to take advantage of renewable energy systems, thanks to the First Power solar hot-water heating project. Senator Linda Frum, on behalf of the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Natural Resources, today announced at the 2009 Solar Conference an investment of up to $1 million in the First Power solar project through the ecoENERGY for Renewable Heat program.

Senator Frum was joined for the announcement by members of First Nations communities; Joe Thwaites, President of Taylor Munro Energy Systems; and Donna Morton, President of the Centre for Integral Economics. The Government of Canada's investment in the First Power project will support the installation of domestic solar water heating systems in up to 900 homes, with a focus on remote First Nations communities.

"This investment will generate new economic activity in First Nations communities, while reducing energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions," said Senator Frum. "Investing in projects like this will stimulate the growth of a domestic clean energy industry, create high-quality jobs for Canadians and help protect our environment."

First Power, which will leverage millions of dollars in additional funding to complete its projects, is a partnership between Taylor Munro Energy Systems and the Centre for Integral Economics. This unique hybrid business is designed to support First Nations communities to gain access to and ownership of renewable energy and clean technologies.

"First Power tackles one of the worst carbon offenses - that of generating electricity with diesel - and builds energy systems that deliver all the heat, light and power a community requires through renewables," said Mr. Thwaites. "It is possible, desirable and even imperative to replace 100 percent of the diesel in these communities."

"We believe that First Nations can take ownership of renewable energy and clean technology systems through orally taught training," said Ms. Morton. "Autonomous energy can give First Nations in Canada both a leading role in building green collar jobs and economic development that respects ancestors, elders and the future."

In addition to the Government of Canada's commitment, First Power is also being supported by Solar BC and several financial institutions, including the All Nations Trust Company.

The ecoENERGY for Renewable Heat program is one of a series of ecoENERGY initiatives through which the Government of Canada is investing $3.9 billion to increase Canada's supply of clean, renewable energy. An additional $2.4 billion was provided by Canada's Economic Action Plan to support a cleaner and more sustainable environment and help meet Canada's climate change objectives.

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