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Project Update

Wataynikaneyap Transmission Project, Canada [free access]

August 14, 2019

Developer: Wataynikaneyap Power, a licensed transmission company owned by 24 First Nations communities and FortisOntario Incorporated (FortisOntario)—a subsidiary of Fortis Incorporated, in Canada


Project details and status: It was launched in 2015 to connect remote communities to the grid with around 1,800 km of transmission lines, and aimed to reduce the dependency of First Nations communities on diesel to meet their power requirements. The project is being developed in two phases. The first phase includes the construction of new 300-km transmission line to reinforce electricity supply to Pickle Lake, while the second phase will connect 17 First Nations communities north of Pickle Lake and Red Lake via an approximately 1,500-km-long, new transmission line. 


Apart from these two phases, it also includes Pikangikum Distribution Line Project, which was completed in December 2018. Under the latter, Pikangikum First Nation—one of the 17 remote First Nations—was connected to Ontario's power grid, via the construction of a new 99-km-long, 115 kV, single-circuit, three-phase transmission line extending from Red Lake to a new substation near Pikangikum. Due to this, the diesel generating station in the region was closed down on December 20, 2018.


In April 2019, the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) approved the leave to construct (LTC) for the project, which allowed the developer to construct and operate the transmission project in northern Ontario.


Recently, in July 2019, the government of Canada awarded CAD1.6 billion federal funding for the project.


The entire project is expected to be completed by 2023, and will shift the dependence of communities from diesel to power from the provincial electricity grid.