Wataynikaneyap Power LP is pleased to announce that FortisOntario Inc. through its parent company Fortis Inc. has completed the transaction to increase its share in the ownership of the transmission partnership by acquiring the interest of Renewable Energy Systems Canada.
As a result of this increased investment, Fortis‘s equity in the Limited Partnership has increased to 49 percent, while the 22 First Nations communities will continue to hold the remaining 51 percent interest.
“We are very excited to announce we have received approval from the Ontario Energy Board and have completed this transaction to increase Fortis’s investment in this important project,” said Scott Hawkes, president and CEO of FortisOntario, and president of Wataynikaneyap Power.
“Fortis continues to demonstrate its commitment to the project through this increased participation,” says Margaret Kenequanash, executive director of Shibogama First Nations Council, and chair of Wataynikaneyap Power. “At the same time, our partnership allows the First Nations to remain majority owners in the Wataynikaneyap Power Transmission Project and ensure that our communities benefit.”
The Wataynikaneyap Power Transmission Project will reinforce the existing transmission grid to Pickle Lake. Connections to the Remote Communities will expand grid service north of Pickle Lake and Red Lake to 17 remote First Nations communities. Wataynikaneyap has advanced engineering, permitting, and completed several rounds of engagement with potentially impacted communities, and further engagement will continue. Construction is currently planned to start in 2018; however, firm government funding commitments and various approvals are required.
Wataynikaneyap Power is owned by 22 First Nations communities and Fortis. The partnership will develop new transmission facilities to connect remote First Nation communities in Northwestern Ontario, currently powered by diesel generation, which has become financially unsustainable, environmentally risky, and inadequate to meet community needs.