Fort William First Nation, Ontario – Wataynikaneyap Power is pleased to announce that the Wataynikaneyap Power Transmission Project has been chosen as a 2021 Clean50 Top Project award winner. Clean50 Top Projects are chosen annually based on their innovation, their ability to inform, and inspire other Canadians.
The Wataynikaneyap Power Transmission Project is an unprecedented First Nations-led project to build approximately 1,800 kilometres of transmission lines in Northwestern Ontario to connect 17 remote First Nations communities to the provincial transmission grid for the first time. The project will reinforce the existing transmission grid to Pickle Lake and bring reliable energy to the communities.
Communities’ current diesel generated energy is insufficient, resulting in load restrictions and power outages. Inadequate power supply is lowering the quality of life, and dramatically limiting the expansion of remote First Nations communities. Connection to the power grid will provide cleaner and more reliable power to the population.
The Wataynikaneyap Power Transmission Project is expected to result in over 6.6 million tonnes of avoided GHG emissions over forty years, by replacing approximately 25 million litres/year of diesel usage.
"We are proud of this recognition as a Clean50 Top Project. Connection to the Ontario power grid will not only reduce diesel usage and transport - with stable, clean power available, communities are enabled to grow and improve community infrastructure and further community development including business and economic opportunities. Importantly, this huge undertaking is being led by First Nations, who currently own 51% of the infrastructure being built on their homelands along with their partners,” said Margaret Kenequanash, CEO of Wataynikaneyap Power.
Eliezer Mckay, Chair of First Nations Limited Partnership, remarks, “When our first community was connected to the power grid for the first time, in December 2018, it was a remarkable thing. We are on schedule to hook up the remaining communities by 2023. This project is only possible through the cooperation, patience, and support of our 24 First Nation owners, who share the vision of building and owning a transmission line to bring reliable power to their communities. Meegwetch to the land stewards and First Nation communities for their continued support of the Wataynikaneyap Power Project.”
“We are proud to bring our utility experience to the Wataynikaneyap Transmission Power Project as we work with our First Nations partners to realize collective clean energy goals in Ontario’s north,” said David Hutchens, President and CEO, Fortis Inc. “The project is the largest First Nations majority-owned infrastructure project in the history of Canada, one which will bring many socio-economic benefits to the 17 First Nations communities who will be connected to the main electricity grid in Ontario for the first time.”
The Top Project of the year will be voted for at the 2021 Clean50 Summit from votes cast by both incoming and alumni members of the Clean50. Due to COVID-19, the Clean50 Summit and the celebration of this year’s Clean50 honourees has been postponed to an in-person gathering on September 30, 2021 in Toronto, Ontario.
For the Wataynikaneyap Power Transmission Project’s Clean50 award coverage, visit: https://clean50.com/projects/wataynikaneyap-power-project-connecting-24-first-nations-wataynikaneyap-power-fortisontario/.
For more information on the Clean50, please visit https://clean50.com/.
About Wataynikaneyap Power
Wataynikaneyap Power is a licensed transmission company, regulated by the Ontario Energy Board, and majority-owned by a partnership of 24 First Nation communities in partnership with Fortis Inc. and other private investors. The 24 First Nation communities also established Opiikapawiin Services to lead the community engagement and participation for Wataynikaneyap Power LP. FortisOntario Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Fortis Inc., acts as the project manager through its wholly owned subsidiary, Wataynikaneyap Power PM Inc. To connect remote First Nations communities to the electrical grid, Wataynikaneyap Power will develop, manage construction, and operate approximately 1,800 kilometres of transmission lines in northwesternOntario. For further information, please visit: www.wataypower.ca
About First Nation Limited Partnership
First Nation Limited Partnership (FNLP) is a partnership of 24 First Nations in Northwestern Ontario working together to connect 17 remote communities currently powered by diesel generation stations. FNLP was established in 2015 to be the ownership and control of the participating First Nations’ interest in Wataynikaneyap Power LP. The 51% interest in Wataynikaneyap Power LP is equally owned by each of the 24 First Nation communities and FNLP will maintain their ability to increase their ownership to 100% over time. For additional information, please visit: www.oslp.ca or www.wataypower.ca.
Fortis is a well-diversified leader in the North American regulated electric and gas utility industry, with 2020 revenue of $8.9 billion and total assets of $55 billion as at December 31, 2020. The Corporation's 9,000 employees serve utility customers in five Canadian provinces, nine U.S. states and three Caribbean countries. Fortis shares are listed on the TSX and NYSE and trade under the symbol FTS. Additional information can be accessed at www.fortisinc.com, www.sedar.com, or www.sec.gov
About Delta Management Group / Canada’s Clean50
Leading sustainability and clean tech search firm Delta Management Group in 2011 founded, and remains the steward of the Canada’s Clean50 awards. The awards were created to annually identify, recognize and connect 50 sustainability leaders, 10-20 Emerging Leaders and Top Projects from every sector of Canadian endeavor. The firm also annually convenes the Clean50 Summit, in order to facilitate understanding, collaboration and innovation in the fight to keep human caused climate impacts below 1.5 degrees.
Kristine Carmichael, Director of Corporate and Customer Services
Mary Kita, Manager, Communications