TORONTO, Dec. 2, 2013 /CNW/ - Wataynikaneyap Power supports the Ontario
Government's Long-Term Energy Plan commitment to connect remote First
Nations communities currently serviced by diesel generation. The First
Nations-led company looks forward to working with the provincial
government to make this important infrastructure project a reality.
"We applaud the provincial government on its support for a project that
will provide our communities with safe, reliable and clean energy,"
said Margaret Kenequanash, of Wataynikaneyap Power. "We look forward to
the day when we can tie into the provincial electricity grid -- and
leave costly diesel generation behind."
In 2008, 13 First Nations gave a mandate to explore connecting to the
provincial grid, and look at ownership options. The Wataynikaneyap
Power project is designed to connect 15 remote First Nations
communities, resulting in nearly $1-billion in direct investment in
Wataynikaneyap Power has been undertaking the project through a staged
development process. The first phase, a 300-kilometre transmission
line, will reinforce electricity transmission into Pickle Lake,
including servicing the Musselwhite mine, owned by Goldcorp. The second
phase will extend transmission north of Pickle Lake to service multiple
First Nations communities.
The new transmission line would cost significantly less than continued
diesel generation. In fact, the Ontario Power Authority has determined
that diesel generation in remote communities costs three to 10 times
that of the average price of power in Ontario. The total diesel
generation cost for remote communities in Ontario is about $68-million
a year, and results in health, safety, and environmental issues. In
addition, many communities are constrained in their electricity
"The basic services so many Canadians take for granted aren't available
to us with the existing system," said Kenequanash. "Some communities
can't even hook up their new housing, as well as essential services."
The project will also create substantial new economic development
opportunities in Northern Ontario. More than 1,200 construction-related
jobs, and 60 long-term career opportunities, are anticipated.
"Our goal has always been to create as many local economic opportunities
for our communities as possible," said Kenequanash. "We're currently
developing training programs to prepare the local workforce for the
construction period, and for the long-term as well."
Wataynikaneyap has initiated an Environmental Assessment on Phase I, and
expects to complete construction to Pickle Lake by 2016. Phase 2 could
begin connecting communities as early as 2017. The company is working
with AECOM (in association with PowerTel and Deutsche Bank) to develop
About Wataynikaneyap Power
Wataynikaneyap Power is a partnership between 18 First Nations
communities and Goldcorp. The company is working to design, permit,
construct, own and operate a transmission line to bring additional grid
connect to Pickle Lake and beyond, connecting remote First Nations
communities in Northwestern Ontario. Wataynikaneyap means "line that
brings light" in Anishiniiniimowin, named by the Elders who provided
guidance to the partners. The company's objective is to provide
reliable and affordable power to residents, businesses, and industry in
the region, while realizing opportunities for First Nations. www.wataypower.ca
SOURCE: Wataynikaneyap Power
For further information:
Sussex Strategy Group