Hydro One, with Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation, a community-owned corporation of the Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation, and Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation announced the completion of the Niagara Reinforcement Line. This line was completed in collaboration with these First Nations and is expected to provide long-term benefits through an equity ownership model, which could serve as a framework for future infrastructure projects across Ontario.
"The electrification of this line will not only deliver economic value to the people of Ontario, it also ensures that local First Nation communities continue to benefit for years to come," says Mark Poweska, president and CEO, Hydro One. "We are committed to becoming a primary business partner to Indigenous communities by supporting employment, procurement and community investment opportunities as well as through business partnerships such as the Niagara Reinforcement Line."
The Niagara Reinforcement Line is a 76 km double-circuit, 230 kV transmission line primarily along an existing Hydro One right-of-way between Allanburg Transformer Station and Middleport Transformer Station. The line was brought to completion by A6N, a joint venture between Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation and Aecon Group Inc.
"The Niagara Reinforcement Line will not only generate millions of dollars of benefit for the Six Nations community, it's also a step forward for Indigenous participation in the economy," says Matt Jamieson, president and Chief Executive Officer, Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation. "We have proven our ability to partner, and have demonstrated unprecedented capacity to leverage our skilled labour to drive economic development, not only within our community, but across Ontario."
As part of this the project's partnership model, both First Nation partners are planned to have an equity ownership in the line, which would provide an annual income to these partners over the life of the asset, supporting investments in local community priorities. This First Nations ownership agreement is expected to be finalized in the coming weeks.
"The Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation is pleased that the Niagara Reinforcement Line has reached completion. Thanks to the collaboration of our partners on this project, Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation and Hydro One, this long-awaited project will bring our First Nation economic benefits for years to come," said Chief R. Stacey Laforme, Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. "This project is a fine example of the partnerships that can be created when proponents engage with First Nations to create meaningful partnerships."
"As a future significant equity partner in the Niagara Reinforcement Line, Six Nations of the Grand River welcomes the completion of this line. This is a huge investment for our future generations and will enable us to provide our community with much-needed services and programs for years to come," said Chief Ava Hill, Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation. "This project is also an excellent example of the successes that can be achieved through partnerships with First Nations. The number of local jobs that were created through our A6N Utilities joint venture is a testament to the possibilities achievable by our skilled and experienced workforce. We hope that this project will lead to many more business opportunities for Six Nations."
Hydro One, Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation and Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation thank the Ontario Ministry of Energy, Independent Electricity System Operator and other project stakeholders for their continued support to deliver power upgrades that support Ontario's growing economy.