Pikangikum Project (Under Construction)
Current Electrical Supply Situation
Pikangikum First Nation currently operates a costly and fuel-intensive diesel generating station. This station is approximately 40 years old and has undergone a number of major upgrades. Today, the diesel generating station has exceeded its effective life, as aging and undersized components have become increasingly difficult to maintain and service. In addition, the electrical needs of this rapidly growing community have outgrown the capacity of the local generation, preventing the connection of additional homes and other critical infrastructure.
The need for clean, reliable, and sufficient power is crucial to the community and cannot be satisfied without a wholesale replacement/upgrade of the diesel generating station, or ideally a connection to the Ontario Electrical Grid.
The first stage of development is a new 99 km High Voltage, single-circuit, three-phase line to extend from Red Lake to a new substation near Pikangikum, which will serve the community by construction of an additional 18 km of three-phase 25 kV line. The facilities will be operated as a distribution system until further improvements are made in order to connect the other First Nation communities north of Red Lake.
- Update of the approved Environmental Assessment under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) Class EA for MNR Resource Stewardship and Facility Development Projects and Section 67 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 for sections on First Nation reserve land is underway
- Approval of Class EA for Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves to the portion of the distribution line crossing the Beekahncheekahmeeng Deebahncheekkayweehn Eenahohnahnuhn dedicated protected area
- Routing is consistent with Whitefeather Forest and adjacent areas’ Land Use Strategy
- Where practical, the line will be located in or beside the Nungesser Road corridor to minimize environmental impacts
- Routing follows the proposed all-season road path from Taxi Bay to the existing power line clearing north of the Berens River
- The high-voltage line will initially operate at 44kV. In the future, it will be upgraded to operate at 115 kV, including a new connection point near Balmer TS (Red Lake) as part of the Phase 2 of the approved Wataynikaneyap Project to connect 17 remote First Nations Communities
Wataynikaneyap Power is developing the Pikangikum Distribution Line Project to connect Pikangikum First Nation to the Provincial power system in Red Lake. Pikangikum is facing an energy crisis. Electrical demand has exceeded the existing diesel generation capacity, which is constantly failing, leaving the community in the dark. The absence of grid power restricts community development including critical infrastructure to serve the needs of our growing population. Pikangikum cannot connect new homes, which contributes to overcrowding and unsafe living conditions.
Pikangikum First Nation supports the Wataynikaneyap Transmission Project and has joined the First Nation partnership under the condition that the community is connected on an expedited schedule. Pikangikum is the closest community to the Provincial grid, and the 117 km distribution line project has now advanced to the point where the First Nation should be connected sooner than the rest of the communities.
On August 17th 2017, the Government of Canada announced a committment of up to $60 million to build the Pikangikum Distribution Line Project. Construction started in November 2018 and the anticipated completion is in November 2018. PowerTel Utilities Contractors Ltd. (“PowerTel”) is the contractor for the project.
More information can be found on the project website: https://www.pikangikumpowerlineproject.com
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