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News Release

QUEST Receives Commission for Environmental Cooperation Grant to Help Four Alberta Communities Increase Energy Resilience


Dec 3, 2019

The Planning for Resilient Community Project will assist municipalities and energy utilities to build resilient infrastructure and investigate how new technologies and grid governance can support the development of Smart Energy Communities.

For Immediate Release

Calgary, Alberta – December 3, 2019 – QUEST has been selected as a recipient for a 2019–2020 North American Partnership for Environmental Community Action (NAPECA) grant from the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC). QUEST is one of eleven innovative, community-based projects addressing adaptation to extreme events that will receive funding.

Communities in Alberta, Canada, are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, with more frequent and intense floods, wildfires, droughts, and storms damaging energy infrastructure and disrupting energy supply. This project will help communities to adapt their energy infrastructure to the impact of increasing extreme events.

“QUEST has long-standing experience working directly with municipalities and their utilities across Canada. Through workshops and mentoring, QUEST helps them align their planning and asset management approaches to become Smart Energy Communities. Energy utilities and communities in Alberta understand the importance of integrating energy innovations while adapting their energy infrastructure to mitigate the risks and damage that can be exacerbated by climate change, such as floods, snowstorms, and wildfires. We look forward to continuing our work in the province and building Smart Energy Communities that are resilient to extreme weather events,” said Tonja Leach, Executive Director at QUEST.

Richard Morgan, the CEC’s executive director, said, “We are proud to support local organizations across North America taking a novel approach to an urgent issue that can affect us all. Action at the community level will complement the ongoing work on preparedness and resilience to extreme events that the CEC is undertaking at the trilateral level. We sincerely thank all those who applied to the North American Partnership for Environmental Community Action this year.”

QUEST will integrate an energy infrastructure “lens” into existing community resilient assessment tools and methodologies, and strengthen collaborative planning between utilities and municipalities seeking to incorporate resilient energy infrastructure. The project will combine cutting-edge research on how new energy technologies support resilient energy systems with on-the-ground, participatory, interactive workshops and mapping exercises engaging multiple community stakeholders, including energy utilities.

The resilience workshop and its associated assessment report will help four Alberta communities and their utilities align their planning processes and asset management to increase their energy resilience. The four Alberta communities that QUEST will work with will be announced in January 2020. Key lessons and findings will be shared so other communities and utilities in the province can consider their own energy resilience plans and mitigate negative economic impacts from prolonged power outages and energy supply disruptions due to climate change impacts.

The CEC’s NAPECA grant program supports nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations in Canada, Mexico and the United States that work closely with local and indigenous communities to improve environmental conditions at the local level. “Helping Your Community Adapt to Extreme Events” was selected by CEC Council members as the focus for the current NAPECA grant cycle in order to expand the impact of the CEC efforts in helping North America to better cope with the effects of extreme events. A trilateral selection committee chose eleven projects from over 200 proposals. To learn more about NAPECA, visit www.cec.org/napeca.


Quick Links

Read the NAPECA Grant Recipient Announcement

Visit the QUEST Website



QUEST is a Canadian national nongovernment organization that works to accelerate the adoption of efficient and integrated community-scale energy systems in Canada by informing, inspiring, and connecting decision-makers. The organization commissions research, communicates best practices, convenes government, utility, and private-sector leaders, and works directly with local authorities to implement on-the-ground solutions. QUEST recognizes communities that have embraced these principles by referring to them as “Smart Energy Communities”. Find out more at: www.questcanada.org.

A Smart Energy Community seamlessly integrates local, renewable, and conventional energy sources to efficiently, cleanly, and affordably meet its energy needs. It is a coveted, highly place to live, work, learn, and play.


About the CEC

The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) was established by the governments of Canada, Mexico and the United States through the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation, the environmental side agreement to NAFTA. An intergovernmental organization, the CEC brings together citizens and experts from governments, nongovernmental organizations, academia and the business sector to seek solutions to protect North America’s shared environment while supporting sustainable economic development. Find out more at: www.cec.org.

CEC initiatives are undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada through Environment and Climate Change Canada, the Government of the United States of Mexico through the Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales, and the Government of the United States of America through the Environmental Protection Agency.

Media Contact

Cheryl Ratchford
Director, Policy & Communications
Toll Free: (866) 494-2770 ext. 703
[email protected]


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