Ontario Construction News staff writer
Pattern Energy Group LP (Pattern Energy) and Nigig Power Corporation announced the completion of the 300-megawatt Henvey Inlet Wind power facility Oct. 15 – the largest single-phase wind facility and the largest on-reserve wind installation in Canada.
Nigg Power Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of Henvey Inlet First Nation, where the site is located at Reserve No. 2 on the northeast shore of Georgian Bay.
“This landmark project is a first on many fronts: largest single-phase wind facility in Canada, largest on-reserve wind installation in the country, and the first to develop a First Nation Environmental Stewardship Regime under the First Nations Lands Management Act,” said Mike Garland, chief executive officer of Pattern Development.
“It’s an honour to partner with Henvey Inlet First Nation on this historic project that created hundreds of local jobs and is now providing a strong new source of revenue for the First Nation. Renewables are helping to reduce the impact on our environment caused by climate change and this new facility is now generating clean, homegrown energy for 100,000 homes each year without any harmful emissions.”
At the peak of construction, there were approximately 1,000 workers on site. Nearly one-third of the construction workers were First Nations citizens. Now operational, Henvey Inlet Wind employs up to 20 permanent full-time staff and is expected to create demand for more than 100 ongoing indirect workers, including maintenance contractors.
The construction process generated approximately $25 million in direct economic activity for local First Nations businesses Ongoing, the wind farm is expected to generate $10 million in annual income for the First Nation..
“Renewables are helping to reduce the impact on our environment caused by climate change and this new facility is now generating clean, homegrown energy for 100,000 homes each year without any harmful emissions,” Garland said.
Henvey Inlet First Nation Chief Wayne McQuabbie says the wind farm’s completion is a historic moment.
“New infrastructure is under way in the First Nation as a result of this new facility and we see better days ahead. We’ve already increased our administrative staff and employees in the community, and we look forward to ensuring a positive future for our upcoming generations, including economic spin offs and job security.
“As Anishinabek, we are proud to contribute to a green economy and are proactively moving forward in a time of climate change.”
Henvey Inlet Wind utilizes 87 Vestas 3.45 MW turbines with a 136-meter rotor diameter and 132- meter hub height. A 104-kilometre transmission line delivers electricity generated by the facility to the Ontario electricity grid. It has a 20-year power purchase agreement with the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) for 100 per cent of its production.
Henvey Inlet Wind has also made separate commitments to four regions along the transmission line and has established a Community Benefits Program that will contribute $1 million to the Municipality of McDougall, Township of Seguin, Township of Carling and Township of Archipelago over the first 20 years of facility operations.
The funds will be used for projects of benefit to each community including enhancing ecological preservation and promoting the needs of youth development through education or recreation.