Pikangikum First Nation has been connected to Ontario’s electricity grid, bringing a reliable, clean supply of power to the community for the first time.
Pikangikum is the first of 16 First Nation communities that are expected to be connected through the First Nation-led Wataynikaneyap Power project, the largest and most far-reaching First Nation grid connection project in Ontario’s history.
Pikangikum is a remote First Nation community located approximately 100 kilometers northwest of Red Lake. Prior to its connection, it was one of Ontario’s largest off-grid First Nation communities, with a population of over 2,500 people.
“Access to reliable, clean, and affordable electricity will pave the way for Pikangikum to connect to greater opportunities – for economic growth, job creation, and community development,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines and Minister of Indigenous Affairs.
“This transformational project is expected to provide more than 14,000 people living in remote First Nation communities in northwestern Ontario with a reliable, clean supply of electricity,” said Minister Rickford. “It’s also bringing something even more significant – the promise of a brighter future.”
The Government of Canada announced funding of up to $60 million to support the connection of Pikangikum in August 2017. Ontario will apply existing ratepayer subsidies to support operating costs in Pikangikum.
Wataynikaneyap Power is a licensed transmission company equally owned by 22 First Nation communities (51 per cent), including Pikangikum First Nation, in partnership with Fortis Inc. (49 per cent).