The Ontario Waterpower Association (OWA) congratulates Pic Mobert First Nation and Regional Power Inc. on the completion of the Gitchi Animki Project. OWA, community supporters and industry partners joined in on the celebration of the grand opening of these facilities on July 27, 2016 in White River Ontario. This facilities will supply renewable reliable energy to for decades to come.
“Regional Power and the Pic Mobert First Nation are to be commended for bringing this project forward together,” said Paul Norris, President of Ontario Waterpower Association. “These developments are a great example of the opportunities that exist across the province to expand the contribution of waterpower to provide economic, environmental and energy benefits for present and future generations”.
The Gitchi Animki (White River) project was undertaken by the Pic Mobert Hydro Power Joint Venture, a partnership of subsidiary companies of the Pic Mobert First Nation and Regional Power Inc. The Gitchi Animki Hydroelectric Project consists of two waterpower generating stations with a combined generating capacity of 18.9 MW, Gitchi Animki Bezhig and Gitchi Animki Niizh.
“Two decades of collaboration and commitment have gone into the opening of Gitchi Animki Hydroelectric Project.” said the Honourable Glenn Thibeault, Ontario’s Minister of Energy “Partnerships like this one help take steps forward in Ontario’s journey of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and support economic development opportunities in their communities. I want to congratulate both Pic Mobert First Nation and Regional Power on this new venture, as I look forward to seeing more collaboration in Ontario’s future.”
The development is located in the traditional territory of the Netamasakomik People of the Pic Mobert First Nation, and was one of the first contracted under the Ontario Power Authority’s Feed-in Tariff (FIT) Program. The development is also located in a provincial park which has led to close cooperation with Ontario Parks on various recreational initiatives.
“This project represents a significant investment in Northern Ontario” added Norris. “The province has significant untapped waterpower potential that, particularly in the context of climate change, could contribute even more to meeting our electricity requirements.”
The facilities will replace the function of an old Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry regulating dam that managed lake levels and flood flows on White Lake. The developments will provide a much improved alternative to the existing regulating dam which was deemed by independent consultants to be in need of significant and costly repairs. Three Pic Mobert community members have been hired and are being trained as operators of the facilities.