Chief Russell Chipps

Chief Russell Chipps

Beecher Bay FN seeks ocean power

A $40,000 grant will help fund implementation of thermal energy

  • Dec. 17, 2014 11:00 a.m.

The Sci’anew Beecher Bay Band will receive $40,000 in funding from the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund with the intent to heat the Spirit Bay development utilizing ocean thermal energy. The sum will be used to explore how heat can be utilized from the cold of the ocean using pumps and heat exchangers.  This process, called ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC), uses the difference in temperature between cooler deep and warmer surface water to generate heat and produce electricity.

Chief Russell Chipps, of the Sci’anew (Cheanuh) Band said, “the people of Beecher Bay were born and raised down in Cheanuh and we lived 100 per cent off the ocean. From the time we were children, we would be out there fishing and gathering seafood. It only makes sense to us now that we are looking to be a net generator of energy using thermal energy from the ocean to heat Spirit Bay, our new town. We want to use the funds to create a sustainable utility that creates healthy living and jobs for our community.”

If the ocean thermal energy project is deemed feasible at Spirit Bay, it will incorporate a heating exchange system that enables homes and hot water heated by the ocean thermal process to be integrated into the village. The only current OTEC plant in operation is in Japan.

“First Nations are emerging as leaders in the development of clean energy projects. By exploring the potential of using the ocean to help heat coastal homes, the Beecher Bay Band and the Trust for Sustainable Development (TSD) are among the forerunners in B.C. who are working to find new and renewable sources of clean energy” said John Rustad, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation.

The cooperation between the Cheanuh Band and the Trust for Sustainable Development in the Spirit Bay project is coming to fruition. When completed over the next 10 years, it is expected to have up to 800 mixed residential units as well as a town centre with offices, shops, and recreational facilities on 40 hectares.

The vision of incorporating sustainability into the town’s core design and infrastructure will also assist the economic life of the town.

David Butterfield the co-founder of TSD said,  “The basis of our relationship is trust and collaboration. Beecher Bay First Nation made it clear that sustainability was their first priority. We are excited to start construction and demonstrate what that means in practice for the community, the economy and the environment.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Shore RCMP is asking for the public’s help in locating Mackenzie Courchene, a Langford teenager.
MISSING: Mackenzie Courchene last seen in Langford on March 2

West Shore RCMP is asking for the public’s help in locating the Langford teenager

Rendering of the proposed Esquimalt public safety building. (Courtesy Township of Esquimalt)
Esquimalt blazes new trail toward modern public safety building

Township using alternative approval process for first time to gauge public support for proposal

Landmarks such as Howard the giant gnome at Galey's Farm in Saanich make a stunning backdrop for celebratory dance in the Greater Victoria Festival Society trailer for its coming Dance Victoria campaign. (Screeshot/Greater Victoria Festival Society)
Residents’ videos help campaign Dance Across Victoria

Celebratory dance clips to be compiled into Greater Victoria Festival Society video

Reynolds Secondary School’s spring musical Freaky Friday features Grace Fouracre as teen Ellie Blake (left) who swaps bodies with her overworked mother, Katherine, played by Nadia Lurie. (Photo courtesy Reynolds Secondary School)
Saanich high school goes virtual with Freaky Friday musical

Reynolds Secondary theatre program to livestream performances March 9-12

Saanich Fire Department. Black Press Media File Photo
Fire displaces three Saanich families from two homes

Saanich firefighters found the fire had spread to a neighbouring home upon arriving

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Tam says the addition of two new vaccines will help Canadians get immunized faster

Const. Allan Young. Photo: Abbotsford Police Department
Manslaughter charge laid in Nelson death of Abbotsford police officer

Allan Young died after an incident in downtown Nelson last summer

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

The Port Alice pulp mill has been dormant since 2015. (North Island Gazette file photo)
Parts recycled, life returning to inlet as as old Port Alice mill decommissioned

Bankruptcy company oversees de-risking the site, water treatment and environmental monitoring

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Ex-B.C. teacher who was CFL kicker charged with assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

(Black Press Media files)
Medicine gardens help Victoria’s Indigenous kids in care stay culturally connected

Traditional plants brought to the homes of Indigenous kids amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Most Read