The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Melina Laboucan-Massimo: 780-504-5567;

First Nation Launches Solar Project In the Heart of the Oil Sands

Little Buffalo, Alberta

This Sunday, the Lubicon Lake Band of Little Buffalo will hold a community feast and ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the installation of an 80 panel, 20.8 kilowatt solar system that will power the adjacent community health centre with the excess fed into the grid. The community owned and operated solar system was built with support from Bullfrog Power, Canadian Energy, Honour the Earth Foundation, W Dusk Energy Group, Greenpeace Canada, and actress/environmentalist Jane Fonda.

Little Buffalo is a Cree community that has been heavily impacted by oil, gas and oil sands development and in 2011 it was the site of one of the largest oil spills in Alberta's history. The solar installation comes at a very critical time in Alberta as the provincial government has just started its climate consultations, including a possible new approach to renewable energy.

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Who: Lubicon Lake Band community members and representatives from Canadian Energy and Bullfrog Power

What: Ribbon cutting ceremony for large solar system and feast

Where: Little Buffalo, Alberta (100 km NE of Peace River)

When: August 23, 12 Noon

Quote from solar project organizer Melina Laboucan-Massimo, who is from Little Buffalo and also a climate and energy campaigner with Greenpeace Canada:

"This project represents our community's first step towards renewable energy generation and we hope it marks a new era of energy sovereignty and community development in the region. This solar project will benefit our community, but it is also a challenge to the Alberta and Canadian governments to do their part towards making the rapid transition to renewable energy required to diversify our economy, combat climate change, and avert more devastation to our homelands. At a time when Albertans are reconsidering our reliance on fossil fuel extraction, we hope that this community-based solar project will show that a better future is possible."

Greenpeace is a global, independent campaigning organization that uses peaceful protest and creative communication to expose global environmental problems and promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future.

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