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North Caribou Lake FN celebrates grid connection

September 15, 2023 | By Anthony Capkun

September 15, 2023 – You can now add North Caribou Lake to the list of First Nation communities who can turn off their diesel generators because they are now connected to Ontario’s power grid via Wataynikaneyap Power.

“Diesel generation was unsafe, unreliable, and inadequate to meet the needs of the growing community,” said Chief Cornelious Benson. “Since connection, we have been able to connect a new school, police station, a number of housing and trailer units, and many building upgrades.”

The Watay Power transmission system connects the community distribution system to the Ontario grid through a total of 590 km of line and four substations, originating from the Dinorwic Substation near Highway 17.

North Caribou Lake is actually the second First Nation to be energized by the provincial power grid through the Watay Power transmission system. It continues to be served by Hydro One Remotes Communities Inc. (HORCI) for local distribution.


“North Caribou Lake First Nation has been in discussions since the mid-1990s to bring reliable energy to the community. We finally did it, and congratulations!” said Margaret Kenequanash, CEO, Wataynikaneyap Power.

Wataynikaneyap Power is majority-owned by an equal partnership of 24 First Nations, in partnership with Fortis Inc. and other private investors, to build and operate the $1.9-billion “Line that brings light”.

The 1800-km Watay power transmission line will ultimately connect 17 remote First Nations to the Ontario power grid, removing their reliance on diesel-generated electricity.

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