Wataynikaneyap Power has announced energization of the northern Ontario community, Wunnumin Lake First Nation with connection to the provincial power grid on September 21, 2023.
“Now that our load capacity is no longer restricted from diesel generators, Wunnumin Lake has been able to connect our new John George Martin Memorial School, which has space for students from junior kindergarten to Grade 10,” said Wunnumin Lake Chief, Sam Mamakwa. “We have upgraded our teachers’ accommodations and built a new subdivision of 25+ housing units which are just waiting for final assessment procedures.”
Wunnumin Lake First Nation is located about 575 km north of Thunder Bay, Ontario and is accessible by ice roads in the winter season and plane year-round. The 1,800 km Wataynikaneyap Power transmission system worth $1.37 billion connects the Wunnumin Lake community distribution system to the Ontario grid through a total of 604 km of line and five substations from Dinorwic Substation.
Hydro One Remotes Communities will help distribute electricity locally to Wunnumin Lake.
“Today’s celebration marks an end to Wunnumin Lake First Nation’s reliance on diesel-generated electricity and will provide the community with clean and reliable electricity to power homes, schools, water treatment plants and critical infrastructure,” said the Honorable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario (FedNor). “By connecting First Nations to Ontario’s provincial power grid, this Indigenous-led project will bring reliable electricity to community members, while fighting climate change and creating jobs.”
Wunnumin Lake is the seventh First Nation energized by the provincial power grid through the Wataynikaneyap Power transmission system, while nine further First Nations are planned to be energized between 2023 and 2024.