The Wataynikaneyap Transmission Project will help improve the quality of life in remote First Nation communities while at the same time avoiding the environmental impacts and risks of diesel generation. In addition, it makes financial sense. Studies have shown that building the transmission infrastructure to these remote communities would save over $1 billion compared to continued diesel generation over the next 40 years.
In many communities, new housing and businesses cannot connect to the local distribution system and are constrained by the inability to secure reliable power. Families are living in substandard living conditions, besieged by repeated boil water advisories, often resulting from the shutdown of water filtration and sanitation systems during the frequent blackouts that impact the communities on a regular basis.
This has a detrimental impact on daily existence in the communities including impacts to health care, education, safety, and access to the necessities of life. People with chronic illnesses and health conditions are at a serious risk every time one of the communities experiences a blackout.
Construction an operation of the Project will also create significant employment and business opportunities in the region. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) estimated the Project will create 770 jobs during construction, of which 260 would be in Northwestern Ontario.
Click here for PricewaterhouseCoopers full Socioeconomic Benefit Study.
Diesel generation impacts the air, land, and water.
Diesel fuel is currently flown or trucked (via ice roads) to the remote First Nation communities. Due to climate change, the limited ice road season makes trucking diesel fuel more dangerous and increases the risk of a an accidental spill.
Diesel generation air pollutants also have a significant impact to community health and local vegetation. In many cases, diesel generators are located in the middle of communities PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) estimates that more than 6.6 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent GHG emissions would be avoided by connecting these communities to the grid.
Depending on the community, the cost of diesel generation in remote communities is 3-10 times more than the average cost in Ontario.
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) estimates that the current cost of diesel generation for the 17 remote First Nations communities is $43 million per year and growing. This cost is mostly subsidized by the Federal government, Ontario electricity ratepayers, on the communities themselves.
Building and operating transmission to these communities is expected to save $1 billion compared to continued diesel generation.
Click here for PricewaterhouseCoopers full Financial Feasibility Study.
Click here for the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) Remote Connection Plan Business Case