A new agreement between Ontario First Nations, the federal government and the province will see 16 northern communities connected to the power grid.
The $1.6 billion project will be completed in 2023 and will shift the communities from dependence on diesel fuel for power to the provincial electricity grid.
Premier Kathleen Wynne says the Wataynikaneyap Power Grid Connection Project will be the largest Indigenous-led and Indigenous-owned infrastructure project in the province’s history.
Wataynikaneyap Power — a majority-owned company by 22 northern First Nations — was founded in 2015 and will build the connection to the grid.
Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler lauded the agreement in a statement today calling it a “major achievement.”
In 2014, a study by Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator determined that there was a positive business case to extend the provincial electricity grid to 21 of the 25 First Nations that depend on diesel.