Wataynikaneyap Power engaged PwC, in
association with HDR, to estimate the socioeconomic benefits of building grid
connection to 17 remote First Nations communities.
Construction of the Wataynikaneyap Power Project is
expected to generate significant economic impacts and benefits for First
Nations communities, Northwestern Ontario, and the rest of Canada more broadly.
Economic benefits generated from the construction and development of the
project are forecasted to contribute on a cumulative basis $1,190 million and
$957 million in GDP to Ontario and Canada respectively. In addition during the construction period,
the project would create roughly 261 jobs in Northwestern Ontario and almost
769 across Canada.
Figure - Economic Growth with and without the Wataynikaneyap Power Project (Illustrative Example)
The study also builds on PwC's financial
feasibility analysis (which shows an estimated $1.0 billion in savings) by
quantifying the various environmental and social benefits associated with the
project. By quantifying these benefits PwC/HDR is able to quantify the expected
"Sustainable Return on Investment" (SROI). Over 40 years, the Wataynikaneyap Power
Project is estimated to result in over 6.6 million tonnes of avoided CO2
equivalent GHG emissions, resulting in a social value of $472 million. Air pollutants also have a
significant impact to community health and local vegetation. PwC/HDR estimated the value of these avoided
costs as $304 million and $35 million respectively. Finally, accidental spills
of diesel fuel can generate significant environmental damage and can be costly
to remediate and there is always a risk of a significant spill occurring during
transportation. The estimated value of
avoided spills is $21 million. In total, the Sustainable Return on Investment
of the project is estimated at $1.9 billion.
Once operational, the Wataynikaneyap Power
Project will help alleviate load growth restrictions, which hinder economic
growth in the region. Access to transmission infrastructure is a key component
for economic development in Northwestern Ontario, in particular, the Far North.
Economic development would create additional spin off benefits for the region.
The construction of the project also creates new business opportunities and
skills development for local communities.
The Wataynikaneyap Power Project will be
one of the largest First Nations projects in Canada and a model for
development. 22 First Nations
communities working together and controlling development of infrastructure
within their traditional lands is unprecedented and will be a catalyst for
greater prosperity and economic self-determination.
Wataynikaneyap Power is working with various levels
of government and the regulatory authority in Ontario regarding the funding and
revenue requirements for the transmission line.
Download the PwC/HDR Socioeconomic Impact Study below: