Business Member Spotlight
BCSEA business members are invaluable change-makers in our province. They lead the way to a sustainable energy future through their work and advocacy. In this new interview series, we focus in on one BCSEA business member at a time to learn how their organization is making a difference.
1. How would you describe your organization’s work?
BPG provides long-term project management support and technical expertise for First Nations communities and Indigenous organizations as they develop renewable energy projects and community infrastructure.
We have renewable energy development expertise that ranges from on-grid and off-grid run-of-river hydro projects, geothermal projects, solar projects, and wind & wave feasibility studies. We also offer community energy planning, community engagement and training and plant operations management services.
Our community infrastructure services include planning and project management services to maintain and upgrade economic development infrastructure, community buildings, water, sewer, and power systems.
2. How did the group originate?
Established in 2003, Barkley has always been motivated to develop clean, renewable energy sources and to contribute to climate action through sustainable development. Canoe Creek Hydro, led by Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation, was our first hydropower project and it began commercial operations in 2010.
3. What has changed along the way?
We started with a sole focus on run-of-river hydro development and a small team of employees. As we
have grown, our expertise has expanded into other areas of renewable energy and sustainability
including solar and geothermal, community energy planning, community engagement and training and
community infrastructure services. Our team has expanded ten-fold and continues to grow. We are
excited about contributing to creating a greener and more inclusive future.
4. What makes Barkley Project Group unique?
Our business is relationship driven. Building on the foundations of trust and respect for our First Nations
clients has been our priority from day one. Every person who works at Barkley, from leadership to
administration, has deep and sincere consideration for the people and communities we work with. We
also continually aim to take a holistic, long term and collaborative approach with each project we take
on, rather than focusing on an ‘in and out’ short term gain mentality.
5. Can you describe a project you are particularly proud of? How did that project inform
The relationship we have built with Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation, which began by successfully completing the award-winning Canoe Creek Hydro project, has been a significant accomplishment for us. The fact that we’ve been entrusted with managing several subsequent projects including two more hydro projects that have been completed, a campground, and several other initiatives, is something that we are enormously proud of. We strive to develop long-term, respectful, and mutually beneficial relationships like this with all of our clients.
The Tu Deh Kah Geothermal project is also a very important project for us. It has put Fort Nelson First Nation, a community that has historically relied heavily on the oil and gas sector for economic development and jobs, at the forefront of clean energy innovation in Canada. The project aims to be Canada’s first commercial scale geothermal electricity production facility and is 100% Indigenous-owned.
6. How do relationships with community affect your approach?
Communities have always been the driving force behind all our projects. Without a connection to the
people and a deep understanding of purpose, we would have no reason to carry out our work.
7. What does sustainable energy mean to your organization?
Sustainable energy means that we can utilize a resource again and again without depleting or
exhausting it, to meet current and future energy needs, while leaving the smallest footprint possible.
8. When you look at British Columbia’s energy landscape, what do you see going well and what needs improvement?
The increasing use of solar power, which is easy to implement, and the rapid growth of electrification in
our transportation and heating is encouraging. In combination with the net metering program, BC is
creating conditions where individuals and businesses can create self-sufficiency while still having the
security of being connected to the grid.
We have also been a part of several successful efforts to displace diesel electricity generation in off-grid
communities. However, there is still a lot more work to do to address this and many other complex
infrastructure challenges facing remote Indigenous communities in BC.
9. What is our most significant opportunity here in British Columbia?
British Columbia is situated on the Pacific Ocean’s “Ring of Fire”, which is an area with major volcanic
and hot spring activity – an indicator that substantial geothermal potential exists. Geothermal resources
within the province could provide significant amounts of baseload electricity to high energy demand
centers, including industrial areas as well as urban and remote communities. Because of cold climate
conditions in the North, geothermal can be competitive at providing the heating needs of communities,
from big cities to individual households to industrial parks.
10. What does being a member of the BCSEA mean to you?
We are aligned with BCSEA’s policy and advocacy efforts. These efforts are critical to keeping the
momentum going toward a clean energy future in BC. Without organizations like BCSEA, many of the
programs that provide critical support for the projects that our clients are undertaking to address
climate change and economic development would not be possible.
Discover more sustainable energy leaders in British Columbia by exploring our Business Member Directory.