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Hydro One strikes powerline partnership with First Nation

Lac des Milles Lacs First Nation becomes part owner in proposed Waasigan transmission project
(Hydro One Networks photo)

Lac des Mille Lacs First Nation and Hydro One Networks have inked an equity agreement on the Waasigan Transmission Line project.  

The northwestern Ontario First Nation is one of nine partner communities that could own up to 50 per cent of the Waasigan Transmission Line in partnership with Hydro One.

The proposed transmission line will deliver 350 megawatt of power into the region, enough to supply 11 new mining operations. It involves erecting a double-circuit 230 kilovolt line between a transformer station north of Thunder Bay to another station at Atikokan. A single circuit 230-kilovolt line will extend north to another transformer station at the City of Dryden. 

Earlier this year, Hydro One signed equity agreements with eight of the nine First Nations in the area of the proposed powerline corridor.

Hydro One said completion of the line is contingent on stakeholder consultation and regulatory approvals.

The agreement falls on the heels of an earlier announcement by Hydro One this fall of a model to offer First Nations a 50 per cent equity stake in all future large scale capital transmission line projects valued at more than $100 million.

“This is an outstanding example of what industry and First Nations can accomplish when they work together,” said Chief Whitecloud in a news release. “We look forward to a successful partnership on this project and to continuing our respectful and mutually beneficial relationship with Hydro One into the future.”

Andrew Spencer, Hydro One’s vice president of transmission and stations, said it took several years to reach this agreement.

“We value and respect the relationship we have formed with the Nation, who also played an instrumental role in advising us on both the Waasigan Transmission Line project and Hydro One's new 50-50 equity model with First Nations. The equity agreement we signed demonstrates how we are partnering with First Nations to attract economic opportunities to the north while ensuring that Ontario's grid is clean, reliable and resilient."