Wataynikaneyap Power added five more communities into its First Nation-led transmission initiative for northwestern Ontario.
The First Nation company is developing a new transmission line into Ontario's Far North to connect remote First Nations communities now powered by expensive diesel generation. The new additions bring the group to 18 communities in working with Red Lake miner Goldcorp.
At a signing ceremony Oct. 8, the communities of Deer Lake, Keewaywin, McDowell Lake, North Spirit Lake, and Poplar Hill First Nation were officially added to the mix.
“Our communities require a reliable power source to be able to participate in economic development opportunities taking place in the region,” says executive director, Peter Campbell. “We look forward to benefiting from this very important infrastructure project, now and into the future.”
Wataynikaneyap Power said the Ontario Power Authority has determined the cost of diesel generation in remote communities is three to 10 times more than the average cost of power in Ontario.
The company said the use of diesel generator instead of stringing transmission lines has resulted in significant health, safety, environmental, social development, and economic impacts.
Wataynikaneyap Power was originally a partnership between 13 First Nations and Goldcorp.
It's a First Nation company working to design, permit, construct, own and operate a transmission line to bring additional grid connection to Pickle Lake and beyond to connect remote First Nation communities in Northwestern Ontario.