The Ontario Power Authority (now the IESO) and the representatives of the remote First Nation communities and tribal councils in the area drafted the 2012 Technical Report for the Connection of Remote First Nation Communities in Northwest Ontario. Since the release of the plan in 2012, engagement of the communities has continued and an updated draft Remote Community Connection Plan was posted in August 2014.
The updated analysis identifies that there is an economic case to connect up to 21 remote communities at this time, including Marten Falls First Nation. The remaining communities are not economic to connect at present, largely due to their relatively small size and distance from existing transmission infrastructure.
Also, the updated draft plan reflects the assessment of the connection for remote communities and the Ring of Fire mine development area from the transmission system in the vicinity of Marathon/Nipigon – an option which was developed in the North of Dryden Integrated Regional Resource Plan. These changes, among other updates, have been reflected in the 2014 draft Remote Community Connection Plan.
The 2014 draft Remote Community Connection Plan is a business case which informed a July 29, 2016, Order in Council from the provincial government. This order confirms the need for the project to connect 21 remote communities.
A concurrent Order in Council designated Wataynikaneyap Power as the transmitter for connecting 16 communities and the new line to Pickle Lake. Development work and approvals are underway by the transmitter for a target in service date of 2023 for these 16 communities.
Any updates to the IESO’s plan will be provided as needed for project approvals. Work is ongoing related to connecting the remaining five communities.