Strathcona Energy Group partners with Shawanaga First Nation for next round of multi-megawatt solar development

Strathcona and Shawanaga leaders announce 17 new PV projects for province, bringing commitment up to a total of 4.5 Megawatts

Belleville (Ontario), December 16, 2015. — Strathcona Energy Group (SEG), a Canadian-based holding company specializing in vertically integrated solutions for the next generation of photovoltaics, announced today that the company has entered a renewable energy investment partnership with Shawanaga First Nation, an Indigenous community located in central Ontario.

The joint venture started almost three years ago, but for Shawanaga the goal was set in motion back in 2008, when Ontario introduced its 20 year Integrated Power System Plan and the Chief and Council of the day sought to explore how Shawanaga could participate and address long term economic prosperity for its community.

Adam Good, now band manager for Shawanaga, was hired to carry out project development and assist the community put in place its Crown consultation protocols.

"I knew that in order for Shawanaga to begin working towards economic self-sufficiency we would need to better understand commercial opportunities that surrounded the community and we would ultimately need partners that would be willing to work with us" says Adam Good. "When the feed-in-tariff program was launched and incentives were put in place to promote partnerships between First Nations and industry, we knew that it would finally be possible to start realizing our goals. It was challenging to find partners and so we hired First Nations energy lawyer, Cherie Brant of Dickinson Wright LLP, to navigate the program opportunities and facilitate the relationship building for us."

Together with SEG and Blackstone Energy Solutions, the Shawanaga First Nation has since then successfully established investment strategies for 13 rooftop photovoltaics projects totaling 1.8 Megawatts, which are producing enough clean energy to power approximately 200 homes. The generated power from the high-yielding arrays is sold to Ontarios IESO (Independent Electricity System Operator) under a 20-year Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) contract.

Now the partnership is working together on a second, much larger round of investment projects, which will add an additional 2.7 Megawatts. As for the previous projects, the Strathcona Group will be an investment partner as well as taking on EPC responsibilities of the projects to ensure maximum profitability.

"SEG is a company that understands the challenges we face as a local government making its way into the broader energy business. We look forward to continuing to build a foundation for trust and reciprocity as we continue to walk this path together", stated Chief Pamajewon of Shawanaga First Nation.

The equity participation in a combined 4.5 Megawatts of solar projects provides Shawanaga First Nation with a base of clean energy investment, something the members of Shawanaga can be proud of and profit at the same time. Equally important is the First Nations undertaking to reinvest the revenue into sustainable energy programs on its own tribal lands to meet the ambitious goal of being powered entirely by renewable energy sources in the near future.

Presently, a school building located in the Shawanaga community near Parry Sound, Ontario, is powered by a 10 kilowatt micro-FiT photovoltaic system, and SEG is currently assisting in an energy audit to identify future energy savings initiatives for the community.

"SEGs investment partnership with Shawanaga First Nation has been characterized by a solid understanding of what is technically feasible and economically sustainable with high profitability," says Karl Hollett, CEO of the Strathcona Energy Group. "Shawanaga is an ideal partner in developing reliable, cost-effective, and safe energy solutions for our province, and we look forward to deepening our commitment in the development of future energy projects."

About Strathcona Energy Group - Making Energy Together

Founded in 2009, Strathcona Energy Group (SEG) is a highly diversified holding company based in Ontario, Canada that specializes in providing vertically integrated renewable energy solutions with locations in both Canada and the United States. Its current and wholly owned participants include Strathcona Energy International (SEI) and Strathcona Solar Initiatives (SSI).

About Shawanaga First Nation

Shawanaga First Nation belongs to the larger Anishnabek Nation which stretches across much of Ontario, east across the Prairies and around the northern shores of all the Great Lakes. The Anishnabek Nation is comprised of Algonquin, Saulteaux, Anishnabe (Ojibway), Odawa, Chippewa and several other groups. In pre-contact times, Anishnabe in this region ranged from the Seguin River to the south, the Magnetawan River to the north, west to Georgian Bay (including the 30,000 islands) and east to the Ottawa valley. Anishnabe traded fish and furs with the Wendat, who were farmers. Trade routes brought copper from the west and shells from the east. Leaders met together to maintain peace and alliances.

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