Northwestern Ontario transmission project will replace diesel generation
and provide cleaner, more sustainable power to First Nation communities
THUNDER BAY, ON, April 4, 2013 /CNW/ - Thirteen First Nations and
Goldcorp today announced they have signed an agreement formally
incorporating Wataynikaneyap Power. This new company is developing a
transmission line that will connect remote First Nations communities
currently powered by diesel generation, and will provide more reliable
power to local communities and industry.
"We have partnered with Goldcorp to establish Wataynikaneyap Power with
a goal of First Nations eventually owning 100% of this important
infrastructure that will better serve our communities. I look forward
to the day we can connect our communities to the provincial power grid
- it is safe, reliable and provides for cleaner energy," said Margaret
Kenequanash, representing the 13 First Nations partners in
The company is proposing a single project with a two-phase development
process. The first phase, a 300-km transmission line, will reinforce
electricity transmission into Pickle Lake, including servicing
Goldcorp's Musselwhite mine. The second phase will extend transmission
north of Pickle Lake to service 10 remote First Nation communities.
In total, 21 of Ontario's 25 remote communities, as well as the Ring of
Fire, could be connected to the grid. Ontario's 25 remote communities
burn approximately 25 million litres of diesel fuel per year to
generate electricity. The associated cost of this diesel generation has
been estimated at approximately $68 million annually. In the long term,
a new transmission line would cost significantly less than continued
The project will create new economic development opportunities including
potential for renewable energy development. Approximately 1,200
construction-related jobs and 60 long-term career opportunities will be
"Our goal is to create as many local economic opportunities for our
First Nations communities as possible," said Kenequanash. "We are
currently in the process of developing training programs to prepare the
local workforce not only for the construction period but for the long
term as well."
"Wataynikaneyap Power is an example of how industry and First Nations
can work together on projects that are good for the economy and the
environment while benefitting communities in the region for years to
come," said Gil Lawson, Manager of Goldcorp's Musselwhite Mine.
Although Goldcorp and other customers in the region are connected to the
existing grid, the current line is at capacity and subject to frequent
outages. Goldcorp is facilitating development for Phase 1 of the
project, but expects to exit the company once a long-term transmission
partner is secured.
Wataynikaneyap has initiated an environmental assessment on Phase 1 and
expects to complete construction to Pickle Lake by the end of 2015.
The company plans to initiate an environmental assessment on Phase 2 in
2013, and could begin connecting communities in 2017. Over 40 years,
the project could result in over 4 million tons of avoided greenhouse
gas (GHG) emissions.
Wataynikaneyap means "line that brings light" in Anishininiimowin, named
by the Elders who provided guidance to the partners.
About Wataynikaneyap Power
Wataynikaneyap Power, a partnership between 13 First Nations and
Goldcorp, is a First Nation led company working to design, permit,
construct, own and operate a transmission line to bring additional grid
connection to Pickle Lake and beyond to connect remote First Nation
communities in Northwestern Ontario. The company's vision is to provide
reliable and affordable power for residents, businesses, and industry
in the region and realize economic opportunities for First Nations. www.wataypower.ca.
About the First Nations partners
The 13 First Nations are located in the heart of the boreal forest
comprised of Anishininiiwug and Anishinabek. Chiefs' resolutions gave
the mandate to connect communities to the provincial grid and pursue a
100% First Nation owned Transmission Company. Five of the ten remote
partner communities are at capacity with their diesel generators and
connection restrictions are being imposed. The communities expect that
any costs savings achieved by connecting to the grid be directed
towards Wataynikaneyap Power. The communities also expect to
participate and benefit from the economic development opportunities
created by the proposed transmission project.
Goldcorp is one of the world's fastest growing senior gold producers,
with operations and development projects located in safe jurisdictions
throughout the Americas. A Canadian company headquartered in Vancouver,
British Columbia, Goldcorp employs more than 14,000 people worldwide.
The Company is committed to responsible mining practices and is well
positioned to deliver sustained, industry-leading growth and
PHOTO AVAILABLE: Leaders and representatives of the First Nations communities and
Goldcorp met on March 28, 2013, to formally incorporate Wataynikaneyap
Image with caption: "Leaders and representatives of the First Nations communities and Goldcorp met on March 28, 2013, to formally incorporate Wataynikaneyap Power.(CNW Group/Wataynikaneyap Power)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130404_C2375_PHOTO_EN_25175.jpg
SOURCE: Wataynikaneyap Power
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