Manitoba Hydro's proposed $6.5-billion Keeyask generating station got a little closer to reality on Wednesday, with the Clean Environment Commission recommending that the project receive a crucial licence.

The commission's assessment of the proposed Keeyask dam, which would be located on the Nelson River, recommends that the provincial government grant a Class 3 Environment Act licence for the project.

Keeyask still needs the approval of the Public Utilities Board, and it must meet other requirements.

Conservation and Water Stewardship Minister Gord Mackintosh applauded the latest step on Wednesday.

"I would like to thank the Clean Environment Commission for its thorough review of the proposal and all the people who took the time to make a submission at the public hearings," he said.

"This is an important project, both for the environment and for the economy, and we will carefully consider the commission's recommendations."

The CEC’s environmental licence stipulates that Hydro must increase efforts to monitor wildlife in the area.

The report also said in 100 years, Keeyask will emit the same amount of greenhouse gas emissions as a natural gas-fired generating plant would in 177 days.

Manitoba Hydro wants to start construction on the project this summer.


  • A previous version of this story incorrectly said the Manitoba government approved the Keeyask hydroelectric generating station proposal put forward by Manitoba Hydro. In fact, the Clean Environment Commission has recommended that the province issue a licence under the Environment Act.
    May 07, 2014 6:52 PM CT