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Waasigan Transmission Line Project

A 50% Partnership with First Nations

Hydro One and nine First Nation partners are supporting growth in northwestern Ontario and energizing life for communities and businesses in the region.

Overview Benefits

The Ministry review of Hydro One's Waasigan Transmission Line Amended Environmental Assessment has been published on the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks’ website for a five-week comment period, ending at:
5 p.m. on Friday, July 26, 2024. Please click here for more information and to submit your comments.

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Project Overview

Ojibwe Version

Aanji-ozhibii’igaadeg Anokiiwin

Nawaj geyaabi izhichigewin, Ge-onji-minoseg gegoo. Nimbizindawaanaanig awiyag gegoo ezhi-andawendamowaad. Omaa Zhaaganaashiiwakiing apane geyaabi onandawendaanaawaa nawaj ji-gizhiibideg Waasigan. Waasigan 350 megawatts oga-biidoonaawaa omaa Zhaaganaashiiwakiing, awashime niizhing minik o’owe apiitendaagwad Wiikwedong. Mii omaa ge-onjiig Waasigan geyaabadak gegoo ozhichigaadegin anokiiwinan.

Waasigan da-niizhwaabiigamon 230 kilovolt omaa Shuniah gaye Adikoganing, omaa dash da-bezhigwaabiigomon omaa Dryden biinish Adikoganing.

Niwiidanokiimaanaanig Anishinaabeg Gaa-wiiji’iwewaad, Nimaajitaamin o’apii, ninaanaagajitoomin endakamigiziyaang, weweni ji-gizhiitaayaang.

Owe noongom gaa-gii-ozhitooyaang mazinaatesijigan, naagwad weweni anokaadamaang. Weweni ezhichiged Anishinaabe omaa akiing, mii owe bijiinag naagaj ge-naagwakin izhichigewinan ge-ani-minoseg gegooyan.

Energizing life means more than supplying safe and reliable power, it means doing it in a way that helps people live a better and brighter future. We achieve this by listening and taking action to meet your needs. The northwest has advocated for an increase in power for many years to support community and industry growth. Waasigan will bring an additional 350 megawatts of electricity to the region, which is more than two times what it takes to power the City of Thunder Bay. This increase in power transfer capability means communities and businesses can grow.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

The Waasigan Transmission Line is a proposed new double-circuit 230 kilovolt transmission line between Lakehead Transformer Station (TS) in the Municipality of Shuniah and Mackenzie TS in the Town of Atikokan, and a new single-circuit 230 kilovolt transmission line between Mackenzie TS and Dryden TS in the City of Dryden.​

In cooperation with First Nation partners, we are completing development work now, including an environmental assessment, so that we’re ready to support the region’s electricity needs.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Our latest video unfolds the profound significance of this initiative, emphasizing its collaborative impact. Discover the shared vision, celebrate the cultural connection, and explore the empowering benefits that resonate across generations.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

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Chief Terry Allan

Nigigoonsiminikaaning First Nation

“An incredible project between the 8 communities and Hydro One.”

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Watch the video on Waasigan Transmission Line
Watch the video on Waasigan Transmission Line
Watch the video on Waasigan Transmission Line

Project Map

The Waasigan Transmission Line is a new, proposed transmission line between Shuniah, Atikokan and Dryden, Ontario. The line will help meet the current and future energy needs of northwest Ontario while protecting and preserving the environment. As part of our deep responsibility to energize life for people, planet and communities, we strive to ensure that our reliable and resilient infrastructure has minimal impacts on the environment.

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Waasigan Project Map

Benefits to Northwestern Ontario

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Indigenous communities

The project is providing economic participation opportunities to Indigenous communities through training, employment and business creation, as well as 50% equity ownership for nine First Nations in the completed transmission line.

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Economic growth

The new line will be the backbone for attracting economic investment to the region, including supporting locally produced goods and services. It will also support mining, forestry, electrification, critical minerals and more.

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Clean Energy

The project will provide a reliable supply of clean electricity. Twice what it takes to power a city the size of Thunder Bay which means communities and businesses can grow.

Electrifying our homes and local economy relies on critical minerals like copper and nickel, which northern Ontario is fortunate to have a bounty of. Ontario’s competitive advantage in the global mining sector comes from our commitment to sustainability. The clean energy the Waasigan Transmission Line will deliver will enhance this advantage, ensuring mining benefits everyone for generations."

- Chris Hodgson, President, Ontario Mining Association

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Key actions Hydro One takes

The Waasigan Transmission Line project will create no significant negative effects to the environment or communities. We will take specific actions to limit and avoid any potential impacts on plants and wildlife, water, quality of life and more.

Working with property owners

We’re committed to working with homeowners to understand the unique features of their property. Collaboratively, we will find a solution to ensure residents who want to stay in their homes, can.

Enhancing community benefits

We work with municipalities, local communities and stakeholders to find opportunities to contribute to the areas around our projects in a positive way, recognizing that community benefits can be varied and diverse.

Electric and Magnetic Fields safety

Hydro One takes safety very seriously and we design and operate our equipment in accordance with all regulatory requirements. Health Canada has found no conclusive evidence of adverse effects caused by EMF exposure from transmission lines. It also does not consider that any precautionary measures are needed regarding daily exposures to EMFs at extremely low frequencies.

Biodiversity initiatives

We will create a biodiversity initiative to offset habitat loss or any long-term change that may occur as a result of this project. Hydro One will engage with Indigenous communities and interested parties to discuss the implementation of the biodiversity initiative.

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Environmental Assessment (EA) Process

An environmental assessment includes consultation and engagement with Indigenous communities, government officials and agencies, and interested persons and organizations. The process is designed to assess the existing environment and mitigate potential effects before decisions are made about proceeding with a proposed project. Waasigan requires completion of a comprehensive environmental assessment under Ontario’s Environmental Assessment Act.

A comprehensive environmental assessment has two parts: first, the development of a Terms of Reference and then the environmental assessment. The Terms of Reference is a document which provides the framework for how the environmental assessment will be completed, including outlining studies and consultation activities that will be completed, as well as identifying viable alternative routes.

Hydro One received approval from the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks for the amended Terms of Reference in February 2022. With this approval, Hydro One and First Nation partners began the environmental assessment in March 2022, as outlined in the approved Terms of Reference.

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Anticipated Project Schedule

April 2019
Notice of Commencement of the Terms of Reference (TOR) for the Environmental Assessment
Spring 2019
TOR open houses, data collection, and development of route alternatives
August 14, 2020
Draft TOR for public review
Fall 2020
Proposed TOR Submitted to Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
February 2022
Terms of Reference approved by Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
March 9, 2022
Notice of Commencement of Environmental Assessment (EA)
Consultation and data collection on Environmental Assessment study areas
Winter 2023
Selection of preferred routes
Summer 2023
Draft Environmental Assessment for public review
Fall 2023
Leave to Construct (Section 92) application submission to the Ontario Energy Board*
November 2023
Final EA Report submitted to the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks for review and approval
April 2024
Leave to Construct (Section 92) application approval from the Ontario Energy Board
Decision on Environmental Assessment by Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
End of 2024
Complete development work
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Land Acknowledgement

Hydro One respects and affirms the inherent and Treaty Rights of all Indigenous Peoples in Canada. Equally, we acknowledge that the proposed Waasigan Transmission Line Project is located in the traditional territories of the Anishinaabe people of Treaty #3 and Robinson-Superior First Nations, whose presence reaches back to time immemorial. The Project also traverses the Northwestern Ontario Métis Community and Northern Lake Superior Métis Community.

Hydro One understands that Indigenous Peoples have deep historic and cultural relationships with their land, and a unique knowledge of the natural environment. We are grateful to Indigenous Nations and Peoples for their past and current stewardship of the land, and we acknowledge our shared responsibilities as caretakers for future generations. Hydro One also recognizes the harms and mistakes of the past and remains committed to Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples in the spirit of truth, healing, and partnership.


The Latest News on Waasigan

November 17, 2023

Final EA Report

Hydro One Inc. (Hydro One), with the support of nine First Nations partners, has submitted the final Environmental Assessment Report to the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks for the Waasigan Transmission Line project.

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July 31, 2023

Ontario Energy Board

Hydro One Inc. (Hydro One) with the support of nine First Nation partners, announced today that it has filed an application with the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) to build and operate the Waasigan Transmission Line.

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June 30, 2023

(EA) Feedback

With nearly one week remaining in Hydro One’s public review period for the proposed Waasigan Transmission Line draft Environment Assessment (EA) Report, the company urges Indigenous communities...

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