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Welcome to the FortisOntario news & media centre. Here you will find news releases about our electricity utilities, community involvement, and energy solution services.

Our Media Releases

Wataynikaneyap Power featured on TVO's – The Agenda

Monday, April 3, 2017

On March 15, 2017, Wataynikaneyap Power was featured on TVO's – The Agenda, to view  Powering Ontario’s Remote First Nations Segment click here.
 

FortisOntario Inc. Completes Transaction to Increase its Investment in Wataynikaneyap Power Transmission Project

Monday, March 13, 2017


TORONTO, ONTARIO (March 10, 2017) – Wataynikaneyap Power LP is pleased to announce that FortisOntario Inc. ("FortisOntario") through its parent company Fortis Inc. has completed the transaction to increase its share in the ownership of the transmission partnership by acquiring the interest of Renewable Energy Systems Canada Inc. (RES). As a result of this increased investment, Fortis’s equity in the Limited Partnership has increased to 49%, while the 22 First Nations communities will continue to hold the remaining 51% interest.
"We are very excited to announce we have received approval from the Ontario Energy Board and have completed this transaction to increase Fortis’ investment in this important project," said Scott Hawkes, President and CEO of FortisOntario, and President of Wataynikaneyap Power.
"Fortis continues to demonstrate its commitment to the project through this increased participation", says Margaret Kenequanash, Executive Director of Shibogama First Nations Council, and Chair of Wataynikaneyap Power. "At the same time, our partnership allows the First Nations to remain majority owners in the Wataynikaneyap Power Transmission Project and ensure that our communities benefit."
The Wataynikaneyap Power Transmission Project will reinforce the existing transmission grid to Pickle Lake. Connections to the Remote Communities will expand grid service north of Pickle Lake and Red Lake to 17 remote First Nations communities. Wataynikaneyap has advanced engineering, permitting, and completed several rounds of engagement with potentially impacted communities, and further engagement will continue. Construction is currently planned to start in 2018; however, firm government funding commitments and various approvals are required.
About Wataynikaneyap Power:
Wataynikaneyap Power is owned by 22 First Nations communities and Fortis. The partnership will develop new transmission facilities to connect remote First Nation communities in Northwestern Ontario, currently powered by diesel generation, which has become financially unsustainable, environmentally risky, and inadequate to meet community needs. More information about Wataynikaneyap Power can be found at www.wataypower.ca
About FortisOntario:
FortisOntario, through a project management partnership, manages various aspects of the Wataynikaneyap Power transmission project. FortisOntario is an electric utility, which owns and operates Canadian Niagara Power Inc., Cornwall Street Railway Light & Power Company Ltd. and Algoma Power Inc., serving a combined 65,000 customers. FortisOntario also owns regulated transmission assets with approximately 3,430 km of distribution and transmission lines. FortisOntario is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fortis Inc. (TSX: FTS), with total assets of approximately CAD$28 billion and fiscal 2015 revenue of CAD$6.7 billion, serving more than 3 million customers across Canada, the United States and the Caribbean. For more information, visit www.fortisinc.com or www.sedar.com.
Media Contact:
John Cutfeet, Communications Officer, Wataynikaneyap Power
807-738-0935cutfeetj@hotmail.com
Kristine Carmichael, Director of Corporate and Customer Services, FortisOntario Inc.
905-871-0330, extension 3209 – kristine.carmichael@fortisontario.com
 

Algoma Power helps Wawa build a new goose and a bright future

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Click here to view press release.
 

FortisOntario Inc. to Increase Investment in Wataynikaneyap Power LP

Friday, December 16, 2016


TORONTO, ONTARIO (December 15, 2016) – Wataynikaneyap Power LP is pleased to announce that FortisOntario Inc. ("FortisOntario") through its parent company Fortis Inc. has agreed to increase its share in the ownership of the transmission company by acquiring the interest of Renewable Energy Systems Canada Inc. (RES). As a result of this increased investment, FortisOntario’s equity in the Limited Partnership will increase to 49%, while the 22 First Nations communities will continue to hold the remaining 51% interest.
"This increase of our ownership of Wataynikaneyap Power LP demonstrates the solid commitment FortisOntario has to the success of this Project and to our partners," said Scott Hawkes, President of CEO of FortisOntario Inc., and President of Wataynikaneyap Power LP. "FortisOntario firmly believes in the mission and our collective mandate with First Nations to connect communities to the provincial electricity transmission system. Not only will this reduce reliance on high-cost diesel for power, but it will also serve as a platform for further infrastructure and socio-economic development in the North."
RES has agreed to sell its holdings in the Limited Partnership to FortisOntario. RES will remain a strong developer, constructor, and operator in the Canadian renewable generation and energy storage sectors. "RES has made significant contributions to the Project to-date" said Hawkes. "As part of the short term transition plan, RES will remain a service provider to the project while Wataynikaneyap Power LP and Fortis implement resource options, including opportunities to utilize certain resources from the Fortis Group of companies."
"We are very pleased that FortisOntario has shown continued commitment to Wataynikaneyap Power and to the important work that lies ahead in connecting out communities to the grid," said Margaret Kenequanash, Executive Director of Shibogama First Nation Council, and Chair of Wataynikaneyap Power. "This is a transformational project. Along with FortisOntario’s participation, First Nations ownership will not only ensure responsible development of infrastructure in our traditional homelands, but it will maximize the health, safety, environmental, social and economic benefits for those First Nations communities that have been unable to provide adequate infrastructure and services to their people."
"We are very proud of the progress that we have made with RES as a partner and we thank them for their tireless support," said Kenequanash.
The closing of the transaction is subject to approval of the Ontario Energy Board. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2017.
Wataynikaneyap Power is an unprecedented partnership of 22 First Nations who have joined together with FortisOntario to build 1,800 km of transmission lines. The project, currently forecasted to be $1.35 billion, includes the grid reinforcement to Pickle Lake, expanding the grid north of Pickle Lake, and Red Lake to connect remote First Nations communities. Earlier this year the Government of Ontario prioritized the Remote Connection Plan to connect participating First Nations communities, and designated Wataynikaneyap Power LP as the licensed transmitter to undertake the Project.
In addition to the 17 communities that will now be connected, other communities can be expected to be connected to the grid in the near future.
The connection of remote First Nation communities to clean electricity through transmission lines was identified in Ontario’s 2013 Long Term Energy Plan. It is expected to save over $1 billion and is estimated to result in over 6.6 million tonnes of avoided CO2 greenhouse gas emissions.
In addition to continued dialogue with First Nations communities with a vested interest in the project, Wataynikaneyap Power’s next steps will be to apply to the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) for Leave to Construct the project, as well as to complete all necessary environmental assessment work. Pending permitting, approvals, and a cost sharing agreement between the federal and provincial government, construction is expected to begin in 2018.
About Wataynikaneyap Power:
Wataynikaneyap Power is owned by 22 First Nations communities and FortisOntario. The partnership will develop new transmission facilities to connect remote First Nation communities in Northwestern Ontario, currently powered by diesel generation, which has become financially unsustainable, environmentally risky, and inadequate to meet community needs. More information about Wataynikaneyap Power can be found at www.wataypower.ca
About FortisOntario:
FortisOntario is an electric utility, which owns and operates Canadian Niagara Power Inc., Cornwall Street Railway, Light and Power Company Limited and Algoma Power Inc., serving a combined 65,000 customers. FortisOntario also owns regulated transmission assets with approximately 3,430 km of distribution and transmission lines. FortisOntario also holds a 10 per cent share in three other distribution utilities with a combined customer base of approximately 40,000. FortisOntario is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fortis Inc. ("Fortis") (TSX:FTS)(NYSE:FTS), with total assets of approximately CAD$47 billion and fiscal 2015 revenue of CAD$6.7 billion, serving more than 3 million customers across Canada, the United States and the Caribbean. For more information, visit www.fortisinc.com, www.sedar.com, or www.sec.gov.
About RES:
Since 1997, RES has been providing development, engineering, construction, and operations services to the utility-scale wind, solar, and energy storage markets across the Americas. The company has constructed more than 1,600 kilometers (km) of transmission lines, including the 344.4km MATL project, and over 9,000 MW of utility-scale renewable energy and energy storage projects, throughout the Americas. RES’ corporate office in Canada is located in Montreal, Quebec with a regional office in Oakville, Ontario. For more information, visit www.res-group.com.
Media Contact:
John Cutfeet, Communications Officer, Wataynikaneyap Power
807-738-0935 – cutfeetj@hotmail.com
Kristine Carmichael, Director of Corporate and Customer Services, FortisOntario Inc.
905-871-0330, extension 3209 – kristine.carmichael@fortisontario.com
Jeff Silverstein, Sussex Strategy Group
416-879-4353 - jsilverstein@sussex-strategy.com
 
 

Canadian Niagara Power Inc. Announces Completion of the International Power Line

Thursday, December 17, 2015

For Release:December 17, 2015
Contact:  Kristine Carmichael, (905) 871-0330 x 3209, Kristine.Carmichael@cnpower.com
                Steve Brady (716) 831-7744, Stephen.Brady@nationalgrid.com
              
Fort Erie, ON – In late 2014, Canadian Niagara Power Inc. (“CNPI”) announced plans for the removal and replacement of the International Power Line (“IPL”) located to the north and parallel to the Peace Bridge.  The work is being done in three stages: Stage 1, involved the removal of the cables from the two existing steel towers; Stage 2, resulted in the dismantling and removal of the two steel towers located on Queen Street in Fort Erie, Ontario and the Buffalo High Tower, in Buffalo, NY; and Stage 3, will see CNPI undertake the rebuilding of the line.  
 
Stages 1 and 2 of the project were completed in late 2014.   The final stage of CNPI’s IPL project is expected to wrap up by the end of 2015, taking to the air to string new electrical lines between Fort Erie and Buffalo.  This weekend, crews will employ a helicopter to stretch ropes between the new towers on either side of the Niagara River, with the ropes then being used to pull the wire from tower to tower.
 
As a safety precaution, traffic on interstate 190 near the Peace Bridge will be interrupted on Saturday and Sunday as posted on the New York State Thruway Authority website at www.thruway.ny.gov.
 
The wires connect CNPI’s transmission system at the base of Queen Street in Fort Erie to National Grid’s transmission system at its Terminal House B on Busti Avenue, in Buffalo, New York.  The re-energizing of the wires between the two transmission systems will then follow.
 
CNPI’s, Vice President of Operations, Jie Han said, “The final stage of the project will complete the interconnection of the two transmission systems and will allow for the continuation of providing safe and reliable 115kV connection of the Ontario CNPI transmission system to the National Grid transmission system in New York.  There is great strategic value to maintain an international transmission corridor now and in the future should further interconnection capability be required".