Wataynikaneyap Transmission Project

Rank 2021


Image Credit: Valard

Industry Sector: Energy

Project Type: Transmission

Project Value: $1.9 billion

Funding Source: Public/Private

Federal Funding: $560 million

Provincial Funding: Government of Ontario loan: $1.34 billion

Province: Ontario

City / Region: Northern Ontario

Estimated End Date of Substantial Completion: 2023

Wataynikaneyap Power—composed of 24 Northwestern First Nations communities—partnered with FortisOntario and RES Canada in August 2015 to develop and operate the transmission facilities to connect 17 remote reserves to the power grid and transition them away from diesel generation.

The plan calls for a 1,800-kilometre transmission line broken into two phases: a 300-kilometre line to Pickle Lake ($200 million), and transmission lines to connect the communities north of Pickle Lake and Red Lake ($1.15 billion).

In January 2019, two new First Nations communities joined the project with a minority ownership stake: Mishkeegogamang First Nation and Ojibway Nation of Saugeen’s utility partner, Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp.(Algonquin).

In July 2020 the project reached a key milestone, with the first structure erected in the Sioux Lookout area near Highway 516. Potential remote electrification is anticipated in 2022, with build-out to 2023.

Project Owner: Wataynikaneyap Power in partnership with FortisOntario and RES Canada

Engineer: Hatch (Owner's Engineer); Wood Group (consulting)

Contractor: EPC Contract: Valard

Environmental Services: Golder (Phase 1 EA)

Other Key Players: PowerTel, Deutsche Bank (MOU for design, construction, and financial services); PwC (financial feasibility study and socioeconomic impact analysis); Arcadis Canada Inc. (Phase 2 routing study); INTECH Risk Management; Englobe

Management Consultants: EY

Legal: Torys (legal advisor); McMillan LLP (for the federal government)

Transmission Line Length (km): 1800

Financing Detail: Wataynikaneyap has invested approximately $16 million to date on pre-development activities. Government funding is still required to make the project a reality.

2020 Rank: 32

2019 Rank: 36

2018 Rank: 40

2017 Rank: 36

2016 Rank: 37


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