The Wataynikaneyap Power Project is expected to generate significant economic impacts and benefits for First Nations communities, Ontario, and Canada. Once operational, the Wataynikaneyap Power Project will help alleviate load growth restrictions, which hinder economic growth in the region. The construction of the project also provides opportunities for skills development, which many stakeholders HDR interviewed indicated were an important part of the benefits of this project and can generate significant economic growth beyond just the construction impacts.
In addition to these economic impacts the Wataynikaneyap Transmission Project is also expected to generate significant socioeconomic benefits (section 4 of the report describes these benefits):
- Lower cost of service
- One-time economic impacts from contruction
- Ongoing economic impacts from increased economic growth
- Increased energy availability and quality
- Decreased emissions
- Improved health outcomes
- Avoided diesel spills
- Lower rates in Independent Power Authority Communities
- Natural resources development
- Other socioeconomic benefits
Other socioeconomic benefits
Interviews with stakeholders also indicated that the Wataynikaneyap Power Project could result in a variety of other socioeconomic benefits that are not necessarily included in the Sustainable Return on Investment (SROI) analysis.
Socioeconomic benefits described in this section of the report are difficult to quantify and monetize on a credible basis, but are important nonetheless. Many of the stakeholders interviewed suggested that the Wataynikaneyap Power Project would improve the quality of life of individuals within their respective communities. These benefits materialize from a variety of factors including some listed above (e.g., improved health outcomes, removal of load restrictions). Social values used to monetize socioeconomic benefits as part of the SROI reflect impacts on quality of life since they are typically estimated using revealed preference or contingent valuation approaches. Accordingly, social values used in this study generally include quality of life benefits, but due to the methods used to estimate these parameters it is difficult to determine the specific value of these benefits.
Other benefits are not included in the SROI analysis because there are no credible valuation methods and/or due to a lack of data and information. The Wataynikaneyap Power Project is a First Nations lead project and stakeholders indicated that it will be the largest project ever developed by First Nations in Northern Ontario. Some stakeholders stated that developing this project would provide First Nations communities a sense of pride and self-esteem. In conjunction with the know-how and experience gained from developing this project, an increased sense of confidence can generate significant future benefits as new projects are conceived of and undertaken. Socioeconomic benefits such as these are not included in our SROI analysis, but are important to mention and include in the broader assessment of this project.
Download the PwC/HDR Socioeconomic Impact Study below: