Construction on Wataynikaneyap Power transmission line set to begin
Company issues notice to proceed to contractor, Valard LP
Construction on a long-awaited transmission line that will connect 17 remote Indigenous communities to Ontario's power grid is officially set to begin.
Wataynikaneyap Power announced Tuesdsay the project's financing is in place, and the company has issued a notice to proceed to the contractor, Valard LP, which will build the 1,800-kilometres of transmission lines. The goal is to have the project completed by 2023.
"Indigenous Peoples are very patient and resilient – they have been talking about energy for 28 years," Margaret Kenequanash, CEO of Wataynikaneyap Power, said in a statement issued Tuesday. "Today we place our mark on history as we work towards a shared vision which will form the foundation for our future generations."
The project is expected to create more than 750 jobs, and cost up to $1.9 billion.
Wataynikaneyap Power is owned by 24 First Nations, in partnership with Fortis and other private investors. Fortis will oversee construction.
"Today marks a significant milestone for the 17 First Nations communities who will be connected to the main electricity grid in Ontario for the first time," Barry Perry, President and CEO of Fortis, said in a statement. "We are proud to work with our First Nations partners to bring cleaner and more reliable energy to their communities."