Phase 2

Phase 2 of the Wataynikaneyap Power Project includes:

  • Overhead 115kV and 44kV transmission lines for two subsystems, north of Pickle Lake and Red Lake, and associated components that will be located within a 2 km wide corridor.  An approximate 40m wide transmission line alignment right of way will be cleared within the 2 km wide corridor.  The transmission line structures and associated conductors and anchors will be installed within the approximate 40m wide transmission line alignment right of way to the extent practical.
  • These 2 km wide corridors were selected through the Environmental Assessment and Technical Review processes, after extensive consultations with all impacted first nation communities and other stakeholders.
  • Access roads will be constructed and or improved to provide access to the transmission line and approximate 40 m wide alignment right of way during construction and operation of the facility.
  • Wherever possible, the new transmission lines and construction access roads are constructed along the paths of existing all-season roads, or the paths of future all-season roads as identified by the communities.
  • Distribution stations located in or near each First Nation community, with new connections to the existing distribution facilities. The proposed distribution stations are required as a point of transmission distribution at each community.
  • Additional components associated with construction, including but not limited to: construction camps, laydown areas, water crossings, as well as waste management and staging areas.  Some of these may be temporary and some may be permanent and remain during operation and maintenance.

Pre-Grid Transmission Condition

The electricity systems in these communities are supplied by internal combustion diesel engines coupled to AC generators.  In general, these AC generators produce an output voltage of 600 volts, which is then stepped up to the operating voltage of the community distribution system (3.7 kV, 13.6 kV, 25kV, or other).

Hydro One Remote Communities Inc., a subsidiary of Hydro One Inc. and an entity regulated by the Ontario Energy Board, provides power distribution service to eight Wataynikaneyap owner communities.  Six communities are served by Independent Power Authorities (IPAs), which are community owned, non-regulated utilities that do not receive the benefits associated with standardization of rates and subsidies seen by regulated utilities.  One community (McDowell Lake) does not currently receive any electricity supply.

The communities are spread across a large area north of Pickle Lake and Red Lake, most of whom lack all season roads. There are ongoing challenges to uninterrupted supply, a significant cost premium associated with the transportation of fuel and adverse environmental impacts associated with diesel generation.  Winter roads provide seasonal access for one to two months per year and air transport is the only means to and from the communities for the remainder of the year. This presents a significant challenge in transporting fuel for generation to the communities.

Phase 2 Map

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Phase 2 Environmental Assessment Requirements

There are a number of environmental assessment regulatory requirements to be met for the Project to proceed. Wataynikaneyap implemented a comprehensive engagement plan and effects assessment process. The Project is subject to the Ontario Environmental Assessment Act under the following processes:

  • Class Environmental Assessment for Minor Transmission Facilities (for applicable 115kV sections and associated infrastructure)
  • Class Environmental Assessment for MNRF Resource Stewardship and Facility Development (Category C) (for applicable less than 115kV sections and associated infrastructure, as well as disposition of resources)
  • Class Environmental Assessment for Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves (Category C) (disposition of resources for applicable 44kV section within Provincial Parks)


Phase 2 Environmental Study Report (ESR) Routing and Access Changes (October 2020)

Hydro One Class Environmental Assessment (EA) for Minor Transmission Facilities (115 kV) Revision Assessment

Access Road Refinements Comparative Analysis

Resource Stewardship and Facility Developments (RSFD) Class EA Revision Assessment

Final ESR 115 kV Comparative Analysis - Whitefeather and Sachigo (April 2021)

Addendum to Final ESR Under Class EA for Minor Transmission (June 2019)

Relevant Class EAs (including the 1992 Class EA for Minor Transmission) with the Final ESR and 2019 Addendum

Draft ESR Round 3 Engagement Materials

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