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Wataynikaneyap Power transmission project recognized as Top Project

October 18, 2021 | By Anthony Capkun

The transmission project is a First Nations-led project to build approximately 1800 kilometres of transmission lines in Northwestern Ontario.

October 18, 2021 – Wataynikaneyap Power announced that its transmission project was voted Clean50 Top Project 2021 at the Clean50 Summit held in Toronto last month. Congratulations!

The transmission project is a First Nations-led project to build approximately 1800 kilometres of transmission lines in Northwestern Ontario, thereby connecting 17 remote First Nations to the provincial grid for the first time.

“This project is led by First Nations, who majority-own this infrastructure being built on our homelands,” said Frank McKay, chair, Wataynikaneyap Power GP Inc., adding that connection to the grid will also “improve community infrastructure and further community development, including business and economic opportunities.”

The project will reinforce the existing transmission grid to Pickle Lake and bring energy to communities currently powered by diesel. It is expected to result in over 6.6 million tonnes of avoided GHG emissions over 40 years by replacing about 25 million litres/year of diesel.


“This project is only possible through the cooperation, patience, and support of our 24 First Nation owners, who share the vision of building and owning a transmission line to bring reliable power to their communities,” said Eliezar Mckay, chair, First Nation LP. “Miigwech to the land stewards and First Nation communities for their continued support of the Wataynikaneyap Power Project.”

Wataynikaneyap Power is a licensed transmission company that’s majority-owned by a partnership of 24 First Nations (First Nation LP), who are in partnership with Fortis Inc. and other private investors, and regulated by the Ontario Energy Board.

First Nation LP was established in 2015 to be the ownership and control of the participating First Nations’ interest in Wataynikaneyap Power LP. The 51% interest in Wataynikaneyap Power LP is equally owned by each of the 24 First Nation communities. Those 24 communities are:

Bearskin Lake, Cat Lake, Deer Lake, Kasabonika Lake, Keewaywin, Kingfisher Lake, Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug, Lac des Mille Lacs, Lac Seul, McDowell Lake, Muskrat Dam, North Caribou Lake, North Spirit Lake, Pikangikum, Poplar Hill, Sachigo Lake, Sandy Lake, Slate Falls, Wabigoon Lake, Wapekeka, Wawakapewin, Wunnumin Lake, Mishkeegogamang, Ojibway Nation of Saugeen.

“All Clean50 Top Projects recognized in 2021 are remarkable, inspiring, and have the potential to contribute to a better future,” said Margaret Kenequanash, CEO, Wataynikaneyap Power. “I accept this recognition on behalf of our Peoples and our partners.”

FortisOntario Inc.—a wholly owned subsidiary of Fortis Inc.—acts as the project manager through its wholly owned subsidiary, Wataynikaneyap Power PM Inc. The 24 First Nations also established Opiikapawiin Services to lead the community engagement and participation for Wataynikaneyap Power LP.

“We are proud to bring our transmission expertise to the table as we work with our First Nations partners to provide clean, reliable electricity to communities for the first time,” said David Hutchens, president & CEO, Fortis Inc.

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