Wataynikaneyap Power Voted Leading Clean50 Project

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The Pikangikum First Nation community gathered together with Wataynikaneyap Power to celebrate the historic moment of energizing the community with safe, reliable power and officially shutting down diesel generated electricity for the last time.
The Pikangikum First Nation community gathered together with Wataynikaneyap Power to celebrate the historic moment of energizing the community with safe, reliable power and officially shutting down diesel generated electricity for the last time.

Fort William FN – BUSINESS – Wataynikaneyap Power has announced that the Wataynikaneyap Power Transmission Project was voted the leading Clean50 Top Project in 2021 at the Clean50 Summit 10.0 held in Toronto on September 30, 2021.

Votes were cast by sustainability advocates, emerging leaders, Top Project representatives, members of the Clean50, and other attendees at the summit.

Wataynikaneyap Power announced on April 21, 2021 that it had been chosen as one of 24 Clean50 Top Project award winners in 2021. Clean50 Top Projects are chosen annually based on their innovation, their ability to inform, and inspire other Canadians.

The Wataynikaneyap Power Transmission Project is an unprecedented First Nations-led project to build approximately 1,800 kilometres of transmission lines in Northwestern Ontario to connect 17 remote First Nations to the provincial transmission grid for the first time. The project will reinforce the existing transmission grid to Pickle Lake and bring reliable energy to the communities, currently powered by diesel.

Communities’ current diesel generated energy is insufficient, resulting in load restrictions and power outages. Inadequate power supply is lowering the quality of life, and dramatically limiting the expansion of remote First Nation communities. Connection to the power grid will provide cleaner and more reliable power to the population.

The Wataynikaneyap Power Transmission Project is expected to result in over 6.6 million tonnes of avoided GHG emissions over forty years, by replacing approximately 25 million litres/year of diesel usage.

Margaret Kenequanash, CEO of Wataynikaneyap Power, comments: “I am very honoured that the Wataynikaneyap Power Transmission Project was voted as the top Project amongst 24 award winners. All Clean50 Top Projects recognized in 2021 are remarkable, inspiring, and have the potential to contribute to a better future. I accept this recognition on behalf of our Peoples and our partners.”

“We are proud of this distinguished recognition from the sustainable business community. Connection to the Ontario power grid will not only reduce diesel usage and transport – with stable, clean power available, First Nations are enabled to grow and improve community infrastructure and further community development – including business and economic opportunities. This project is led by First Nations, who majority-own this infrastructure being built on our homelands,” remarks Frank McKay, Chair of the Wataynikaneyap Power GP Inc. Board.

Eliezar Mckay, Chair of First Nation Limited Partnership, also comments: “Thank you to the Clean50 members for recognizing the importance of the Wataynikaneyap Power Transmission Project, not only for the land, but also the community development that will follow when we have adequate, reliable power in place. This project is only possible through the cooperation, patience, and support of our 24 First Nation owners, who share the vision of building and owning a transmission line to bring reliable power to their communities. Miigwech to the land stewards and First Nation communities for their continued support of the Wataynikaneyap Power Project.”

“We are proud to bring our transmission expertise to the table as we work with our First Nations partners to provide clean, reliable electricity to communities for the first time,” said David Hutchens, President and CEO, Fortis Inc. “Congratulations to the team for being voted Clean50’s Leading Project in 2021.”