A third community is hooked up to the provincial electrical grid through the Wataynikaneyap line.
Earlier this month, Kingfisher Lake First Nation was officially energized on the transmission line, which will eventually span 1,800 kilometres and provide electricity to 17 remote First Nations communities.
The occasion was celebrated on Wednesday in the community, which is located about 350 kilometres north of Sioux Lookout.
“Access to reliable energy will lead to many improvements for our people and the community. Schools, households, and businesses have been negatively impacted by frequent power outages. Improvements in healthcare, education, food security, and technology will no longer be constrained by the limited capacity of the diesel generators,” Kingfisher Lake Chief Eddie Mamakwa said in a written statement.
With the line being energized, diesel generators that had powered the community were turned off. The Kingfisher Lake community distribution system is connected to the grid through a total of 250 kilometres of line and two substations.
“It has taken many years and we have reached a significant milestone today. I am very excited that we are celebrating the connection of Kingfisher Lake First Nation,” said Wataynikaneyap Power CEO Margaret Kenequanash. “With a clear mandate from our Chiefs and support from our partners, connection to the provincial power grid brings reliable, clean energy to our communities through infrastructure majority-owned by 24 First Nations."
Previously, Pikangikum First Nation was connected in December 2018, while North Caribou Lake First Nation joined in October 2022.