First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund Grants

Government of British Columbia

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Grant amount: Up to US $500,000

Next deadline: May 31, 2020

Later deadlines: Jan 31, 2021

Applicant type: For-Profit Business Indigenous Group

Funding uses: Project / Program

Location of project: Canada

Location of residency: Canada

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The First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund (FNCEBF) promotes increased Aboriginal community participation in the clean energy sector within their asserted traditional territories and treaty areas.

The fund provides agreements between the B.C. Government and successful applicants for Capacity funding and Equity funding. It also provides revenue sharing agreements between the B.C. Government and eligible First Nations.

The Clean Energy Act enabled the creation of the First Nation Clean Energy Business Fund. The Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation is responsible for administering the fund and uses expertise across provincial government to assess applications.

Funding Categories

Capacity Funding

The maximum total Grant is $50,000 per applicant regardless of the number of potential Projects in the applicant’s traditional territory.

Funding will be provided to enable an applicant to:

  • Develop a Community Energy Plans (see the Community Energy Plan template).
  • Engage with project proponents to undertake the financial analysis of potential projects prior to taking an equity position in a independent power project within their traditional territory.
  • Complete feasibility or pre-feasibility studies of potential projects within a First Nation’s traditional territory.
  • Complete the permitting process required, by the First Nation, to develop a renewable energy project within their traditional territory.
  • Complete various business plans related to the development of:
    • a renewable energy project (supply); or
    • a renewable energy company, that would be wholly band-owned, and that would support or install energy efficiency and demand-side management projects.

Funding may also be applied or to fund training. Examples of the training that might be supported include:

  • Solar installation;
  • Insulation;
  • Draft proofing;
  • Ventilation; or
  • Passive house training.

Equity Grants

The maximum total Grant is $500,000 per applicant regardless of the number of potential Projects in the applicant’s traditional territory.

Provincial equity contributions are intended to be on a “last in” basis (i.e., a commitment letter will be provided to the applicant committing to the transfer of funds only after a project has been built and is ready for commercial operation.) However, once an application has been accepted for a Grant, consideration will be given to providing some portion of these funds prior to commercial operation provided key project tasks can be documented.

Key Project Tasks may include but are not limited to:

  • Final Design
  • Permitting
  • Business Plan
  • Financing
  • Interconnection Agreement signed
  • Major Equipment Ordered
  • Commenced Construction
  • Begin Commissioning

Provincial equity contributions to implement energy efficiency projects; demand side management projects, or small-scale heat electrical production, may be applied for up to a maximum amount of $150,000 for any one project.

Projects may include but are not limited to:

  • Implementing high efficiency heating technologies (i.e. for space and water heating, boiler replacements and heat recovery systems for offices/recreation centres).
  • Onsite Generation (DSM) – installation of small-scale solar or other energy technologies that will provide load displacement in the community (i.e. rooftop solar, net-metered projects).

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Fund eligibility criteria restricts applicants to Aboriginal communities in British Columbia falling into one of the following categories:
    • A First Nation “band” as defined by the Indian Act (Canada);
    • A person, other than a natural person, that is determined by the Government of British Columbia for the purposes of the FNCEBF Program to represent the collective interests of a community that is comprised of Aboriginal individuals; or
    • A corporation that is wholly owned by one or more Aboriginal communities as described above.
  • In addition, the proposed project must be located in British Columbia.
  • To qualify for Capacity Funding:
    • A Band Council Resolution, Tribal Council Resolution, or Directors’ Resolution approving the project will be required; and
    • The funding request must be for Eligible Costs (as defined in the Application);
  • To qualify for Equity Grants:
    • The applicant must demonstrate due diligence that a project is financially viable and that the Project developer has sufficient resources and experience to bring the Project to commercial operation;
    • The applicant should provide a business plan and any other supporting material demonstrating the viability of the project. Specifically, the applicant should provide a detailed feasibility study document that examines all clean energy options and clearly identifies the proposed one as the best opportunity.
    • The applicant’s organisations must declare all sources of funding for the proposed clean energy project, inclusive of federal, provincial, or other government sources known at the time when the Application is submitted;
    • A Band Council Resolution or Tribal Council Resolution approving the project will be required;
    • If grid connected, a Project must have an Energy Purchase Agreement (EPA) in place with BC Hydro;


  • For Equity Grants:
    • Preference to be given to applicants that can leverage matching equity funding from other funding sources