Fortis announces Wataynikaneyap Power project funding
Fortis announced the Wataynikaneyap Power project has reached a major milestone with the announcement of a funding framework among Wataynikaneyap Power, the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario. The project will connect 17 remote First Nations communities in Northwestern Ontario to the main electricity grid through the construction of 1,800 kilometres of transmission lines. Fortis subsidiary, FortisOntario, will be responsible for construction management and operation of the transmission line. The estimated project construction cost is $1.6B. Wataynikaneyap Power is a licensed transmission company, regulated by the Ontario Energy Board, equally owned by First Nations communities, 51%, in partnership with Fortis, 49%. The announcement supports the corporation's growth strategy and will increase its five-year capital investment plan by approximately $600M to $15.1B through 2022. Rate base will grow accordingly to reach approximately $33B by 2022, representing a 40-basis point increase in the five-year compound annual growth rate to 5.4%. The project will take approximately five years to complete and will contribute to Fortis earnings and cash flow upon completion of each phase of the project.