Toronto (Canada) – The Wataynikaneyap (Watay) Power Transmission Project has now financially closed. Fasken played a key role on this project, acting for the Province of Ontario, represented by the Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines on its $1.34 Billion loan to Wataynikaneyap Power to help finance the $1.9 Billion project.
Wataynikaneyap Power is a licensed transmission company, regulated by the Ontario Energy Board, and majority-owned by a partnership of 24 First Nations communities in Northwestern Ontario, in partnership with Fortis and other private investors. Notably this is the first such project to be developed through majority ownership by the First Nations. This is the largest Indigenous-led infrastructure project in Canada, and most far-reaching First Nations grid connection in Ontario's history.
“By the end of 2023, 16 remote communities that are currently powered by diesel generation stations will be connected to the Ontario power grid,” said Ella Plotkin who leads the Fasken Global Infrastructure and Projects Group and co-led the team advising Ontario in respect of the Project. “We are pleased to have had a key role on such a significant project which will impact so many peoples’ lives, and would like to congratulate our clients and everyone involved.”
The project will build approximately 1,800 kilometres of transmission lines in Northwestern Ontario, that will supply reliable and clean energy to over 14,000 First Nations people across the region. It will also create approximately 769 jobs during construction, close to $900 million in socio-economic value, along with many other new economic opportunities.
“It was a privilege for our Firm to be a part of a project that will have such clear benefits for First Nations and the country,” said Peter Feldberg, Firm Managing Partner.
The Firm’s Global Infrastructure and Projects Group is at the leading edge of infrastructure and public-private partnership developments globally and has been recognized with numerous industry awards, including most recently being awarded the North American Silver Award as “Legal Advisor of the Year” by P3 Bulletin and the Gold Award as “Public Sector Legal Advisor of the Year” by IJ Global.
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