Clean energy delivers First Nation Community Benefits.

“In the past century, everything was built around us with little consultation, collaboration, or inclusion,” said Matt Jamieson, CEO of the Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation (SNGRDC).

But now, “through Indigenous participation, we have an opportunity to embrace our collective responsibility to do what’s right for our future generations,” he added.

The SNGRDC was created to foster economic development opportunities on and around Six Nations’ territory, located between Hamilton, Brantford, and Simcoe, Ontario. To that end, the organization manages large clean energy operations with the intent of directing profits back into the community.

“Participating in clean energy provides a platform to invest in a brighter future, to stimulate economic opportunity, and build critical capacity to bring exponential change for Haudenosaunee people and our neighbours,” says Matt.

When looking to refinance one of their wind farms, the SNGRDC sought a financing partner that understood and supported its mission. In 2021, they partnered with Vancity Community Investment Bank (VCIB) – a Vancity subsidiary based in Toronto – to refinance a project in their growing clean energy portfolio, the Niagara Region Wind Farm (pictured above).

A values-aligned partnership.

Choosing VCIB to refinance the project was as simple as choosing the best lending terms through a competitive process, Jamieson said, while partnering with a financial institution that “demonstrates a strong desire to embrace Indigenous business.”

With 77 turbines, the Niagara Region Wind Farm is the second-largest wind farm in Ontario, yet it’s just one of 18 solar and wind installations that SNGRDC participates in that send nearly 1,400 megawatts of clean electricity to the provincial grid.

This refinancing agreement expanded SNGRDC’s profile as a clean energy leader and, Jamieson added, savings from the lower interest rate “will flow to the bottom line, handing more funds to the EDT and directly benefiting the community.”

By refinancing the Niagara Region Wind Farm, SNGRDC freed up $400,000 in additional profits per year – money that will flow straight into the community.

*This article was repurposed from a blog story that was co-written by the SNGRDC and VCIB.


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