EDMONTON, AB – In recognition of the history and deep connection of Indigenous peoples to the land housing EPCOR’s solar farm, the facility now has an Indigenous name.
The name – kīsikāw pīsim (KEY-see-gaw PEE-sim) – means daylight sun and is represented in Cree syllabics as ᑮᓯᑳᐤ ᐲᓯᒼ . Enoch Cree Nation gifted the name to EPCOR this past January through a pipe ceremony with senior leadership of both the Nation and EPCOR, and it is now being publicly unveiled on site as the official name.
“We are proud to give this name and in doing so we acknowledge EPCOR’s desire to steward these lands, to connect our peoples to this place, and to seek ‘reconciliAction,’” said Chief Billy Morin of Enoch Cree Nation. “We are proud of our relationship with EPCOR and of the future we will walk together.”
“We are honoured by the gift of this name for our solar farm facility and acknowledge our responsibilities on the path to reconciliation,” said EPCOR President & CEO Stuart Lee. “We respect and honour the history of this site, and will continue seeking out meaningful ways for Enoch Cree Nation and its people to re-connect with their historic lands.”
Giving the solar farm an Indigenous name is one of the elements of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), signed in 2020, that formalizes a strong, cooperative relationship between EPCOR and Enoch Cree Nation. In developing the MOU, both parties also acknowledged their shared support for the principles of the Edmonton Declaration, which calls for immediate and urgent action to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
“The kīsikāw pīsim solar farm and our partnership with Enoch Cree Nation underscores the importance EPCOR places on deepening relationships with Indigenous communities,” adds Lee. “We believe this project, and this name, is a positive step toward a sustainable future built on trust, collaboration and respect.”
The solar farm will generate 21,500 megawatt hours of renewable energy annually to help power the water treatment plant and its water treatment and distribution processes, providing clean water made with clean energy. It will achieve real, tangible and immediate reductions in greenhouse gas emissions; help meet the City of Edmonton’s goal to generate new local sources of renewable electricity; and make the water treatment plant more self-sufficient and climate resilient.
In addition, as part of the project, EPCOR is transferring 31.5 acres of land to the City of Edmonton to extend and improve its recreational trail network; has enlarged the wildlife corridor along the river by 25 per cent; and added over three acres of grassy meadow outside of the fence line.
This summer EPCOR will begin to restore over seven acres of the site into tree and shrub habitat, adding more trees to facilitate wildlife movement and visual screening, as well as re-introducing native grasses to enhance biodiversity.
The last of the 30,350 solar panels was installed in March and work continues on the battery energy storage system, cabling and electrical switchgear installation. The project will move to testing and finally commissioning late this fall.
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EPCOR, through its wholly owned subsidiaries, builds, owns and operates electrical, natural gas and water transmission and distribution networks, water and wastewater treatment facilities, sanitary and stormwater systems, and infrastructure in Canada and the United States. The Company also provides electricity, natural gas and water products and services to residential and commercial customers. EPCOR, headquartered in Edmonton, is committed to conducting its business and operations safely and responsibly. Environmental stewardship, public health and community well-being are at the heart of EPCOR’s mission to provide clean water and safe, reliable energy. EPCOR is an Alberta Top 75 employer, and is ranked among Corporate Knights’ 2021 Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada.