Keeyask Hydroelectric Project

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Image Credit: Manitoba Hydro

Ranking for 2018: 6

Industry Sector: Energy

Specific Sector: Hydroelectric

Range: $5 billion +

Project Value: $8,700,000,000

Government Funds Involved: N/A

Funding Source: Public

Location: Lower Nelson River, Manitoba

Estimated End Date of Substantial Completion: 2020


This 695-megawatt hydroelectric generating station will be a source of renewable energy, producing an average of 4,400 gigawatt-hours of electricity each year. The scope of work includes rock excavation, concrete for the powerhouse and spillway, earthen structures, electrical and mechanical work, and the construction and removal of temporary cofferdams needed to manage the river flow during construction.

Energy produced will be integrated into Manitoba Hydro’s electric system for use in Manitoba and for export.

Keeyask will be Manitoba’s fourth- largest generating station. The design for the project agreement is based on a partnership model between Manitoba Hydro and the four Keeyask Cree Nations, including the Tataskweyak Cree Nation, War Lake First Nation, Fox Lake Cree Nation, and York Factory First Nation.

In March of 2017, a revised budget and project schedule were announced, representing a $2.2 billion cost increase and a 21-month delay in the completion of the project. At the time of the announcement, Manitoba Hydro president and CEO Kelvin Shepherd stated that “Completing Keeyask will allow us to fulfill export contracts worth approximately $4.5 billion. This will help offset some of the costs of the project. Despite the increased cost to complete construction, stopping now is not an economically viable option as the significant costs of cancellation— together with lost revenues—more than offset any potential savings.”

Construction began in summer 2014. The station’s first unit is scheduled to go into service in 2019, with all units commissioned by December 2020.

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