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BluEarth-Renewables

Senior executive: Kent Brown
Founded: 2010
Headquartered: Calgary

If Alberta’s energy producers and pipeline companies are looking for a way to improve their relationships with aboriginal people, they could do a lot worse than studying the way BluEarth Renewables has done business. The renewable power company, which builds wind and solar projects across the country, is co-developing the Bow Lake Wind Project along with the Batchewana First Nation in Ontario. In the process, it’s showing how consultation ought to be done. “We seek to partner on projects with First Nations as equals,” says BluEarth CEO Kent Brown. “Not only do we share equally in the benefits, but we share equally in the risks and costs of the partnership on the project. One of the big keys to all of that is trust building – knowing that it’s not a short-term thing, but that this is a long, long-term relationship.”

The company is now applying that model to a proposed run-of-river hydro project in B.C. with the Squamish First Nation. “I think that’s the best way to develop projects because you’re in it together and you both have skin in the game,” Brown says. “You develop better relationships because of that, I think.”

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