Fort Severn First Nation Solar Array - Transitioning from Diesel to Solar Power

The Fort Severn First Nation is a step closer to energy sovereignty with the realization of this 300-kW solar array.

Supported by Hedgehog Technologies, the community is now empowered with training and mentorship to reduce their diesel usage while creating new economic opportunities in Fort Severn.



Hedgehog Technologies is an

electromechanical engineering company

and we do projects where high

performance engineering products are

required we work in renewable energy in

remote locations we build roller

coasters and we have built submarines

because we’re in the renewable energy

industry Fort Severn First Nations

Community had heard about us they are

located on the most Northerly point of

Ontario and where Manitoba Ontario and

Hudson’s Bay join an area called the

Severn River which is the last breeding

grounds of the polar bear in Ontario

they have long and sexual ties with the

polar bear you know they’ve been

tracking polar bear activity up there

for a long time and so they noticed a

change for the polar bear were changing

their patterns and behavior that was

quite alarming for the community so that

really motivated and sparked this

commitment to starting this project and

doing renewable energy in Fort Severn

their electricity is powered by diesel

generator they have only two ways to get

the fuel up there they can get it up

either by barge on Hudson Bay or they

can get it up by Ice Road so you can see

it’s very expensive and carbon intensive

so they saw a real need to do a

renewable energy project up there their

primary energy load is heat and light

that uses hundreds of thousands of

liters of diesel a year and they propose

a solar project that would reduce the

diesel consumption by about a hundred

thousand liters of diesel foreign

T is a 300 kilowatt solar farm 300

kilowatts is about two football fields

in size and that could power up to maybe

a hundred houses

we were actually brought onto this

project after an original team had

attempted it and were unsuccessful the

first thing we did is work with the

community talk with them about what’s

important and the Order of Things based

on the seasons and the culture and the


these projects are their projects and

they want to see them succeed and we’re

there to help support and facilitate

that as much as the system really aligns

with cultural values and goals for them

in terms of being more environmentally

friendly and courteous the other goal is

you know for them to have a bit more

ownership and control over how they

produce and utilize energy in their


because of the displaced cost of fuel

they don’t need to bring it up anymore

they’re being paid to run the solar farm

by the utility they’re making a couple

hundred thousand dollars a year the

chief is putting all that money into

building new houses so that was one

economic benefit of the solar farm the

other is is we were mentoring people we

gave a course on how to build solar

Farms so they can fix it themselves and

maintain it themselves

so it took extensive amount of planning

and a lot of creative engineering being

able to design and work with people that

are committed to these kind of projects

is amazing

it proves that these Northerly projects

are possible and it’s possible by the

people that live there


About the Greening a Generation Program

As part of its mission to strengthen the ability of the Canadian electricity industry in meeting the current and future needs of its workforce, EHRC is committed to implementing an educational, creative, and engaging program that will help elevate renewable and non-GHG-emitting energy within the national consciousness.

Focused on engaging all Canadians, and in particular young Canadians, EHRC’s Greening a Generation project will highlight electricity’s importance in our energy sector in addition to providing a guideline as to how the electricity industry will be available to young Canadians as a vehicle to address key issues as well as we provide career opportunities in the electricity and renewable energy sector for years to come.

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