Manitoba Hydro is seeking approval for it's $20 billion megaproject that will include building two dams and new transmission lines which will generate enough power to keep the lights on in the province by 2023.

A document describing the project was filed to the Public Utilities Board Friday (PUB), outlining a number of possible plans along with the utility's preferred plan, which would consist of the largest capital costs and initial rate increases.


The an artist interpretation of the Keeyask Generating Station slated to generate 695 megawatts from the Nelson River. (Manitoba Hydro )

The Crown corporation states that without building two generating stations in Keeyask and Conawapa, the province will not be able to provide enough power to meet the increase in demand in the next 20 years.

"Our analysis demonstrates that continuing to develop our hydropower resources is in the best long-term interest of Manitoba Hydro customers and the province of Manitoba," said Scott Thomson, Manitoba Hydro President and CEO in a press release.

"Our Preferred Development Plan provides lower long term rates for Manitobans, greater reliability and security of supply, superior environmental and socio-economic benefits and job creation for the province compared to other options and alternatives," he said.


An artist rendering of the Conawapa Generating Station. If built it would be the largest project of its kind in Manitoba's history generating 1,485 megawatts. (Manitoba Hydro)

The plan proposes that construction for the Keeyask Generating Station, slated to produce 695 megawatts from the Nelson River, to start in June of 2014 and be running by 2019.

No exact date is proposed for work to begin on the 1,485-megawatt Conawapa Generating Station, but the plan states that it should be operational by 2026.

The project also looks at putting up a new transmission line to the United States that would provide additional capacity new export sales and imported during droughts.

The alternative plans  include energy conservation, natural gas, wind, improvements to existing generation, imports and new hydro power.

The PUB will conduct an independent review on the plan, which will asses if it's the best option for the province. The board will hold public hearing on the project in the winter-spring of 2014 and submit a report to the Manitoba government by June 20 of next year.