Energy Manitoba

Wuskwatim

Partnerships

Environmental Management Plans

The WPLP has posted monitoring reports for 2006-07 and 2007-08 that make reference to the licence requirements for Environmental Protection Plans for construction and operation of the construction camp and the generating station. These reports also detail monitoring activities.

However, as of September 2009, the Environmental Management Plans themselves that direct site-specific protection of environmental resources during the construction and operation phases of the Wuskwatim projects are not posted on either Manitoba Hydro's website, the Environmental Assessment and Licensing page for the Wuskwatim projects, or the WPLP website. They are therefore still not publicly available. Manitoba Hydro made public commitments during the Environment Act licensing process that the various environmental management plans for the Wuskwatim projects would be public.

Manitoba Hydro / NCN Partnership

The Wuskwatim Power Limited Partnership (WPLP) was legally established in 2006, making Manitoba Hydro and Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation (NCN) official business partners. NCN has the opportunity to own up to 33 percent of the Wuskwatim Generating Station.

NCN had significant input into the project's Environmental Impact Statement, including combining of traditional knowledge with scientific knowledge and working collaboratively on key aspects of the project, such as the choice of a low head design for the generating station.

The low head design will produce 200 megawatts of power compared to 350 megawatts for a high head design, but reduces environmental impacts by reducing the amount of flooding to less than a half-square km (about 37 hectares) compared to about 140 square km for a high head design.

View the WPLP website

WPLP Structure

The Wuskwatim Power Limited Partnership (WPLP) owns the Wuskwatim Generation Project.

The partnership consists of:
  • the General Partner (5022649 Manitoba Ltd.) - a wholly owned subsidiary of Manitoba Hydro that manages the business of the partnership
  • Manitoba Hydro
  • Taskinigahp Power Corporation (TPC) - wholly owned by NCN

According to the WPLP website, "TPC, which holds NCN's shares in the project, has the option of owning up to 33 percent of the Wuskwatim Generating Station and to this point has invested $1 million in the project."

Equity Partner

Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation (NCN) negotiated with Manitoba Hydro to be an equity partner in the development of the Wuskwatim Generation Project. An agreement in principle between NCN and the utility was signed in 2001. For information regarding this initiative go to the Manitoba Hydro web site. During the review of the Wuskwatim projects there was confusion as to whether NCN is in fact a co-proponent with Manitoba Hydro for this project. In October 2003 Manitoba Hydro and NCN signed a Statement of Understanding (SOU), as the next step towards the business arrangement regarding the Wuskwatim generation station. A backgrounder regarding this SOU agreement is available here.

Negotiations for a final Partnership Development Agreement (PDA) regarding the Wuskwatim Generation Project between Manitoba Hydro and NCN was announced March 30, 2006. The Wuskwatim Project Development Agreement formalizes the Manitoba Hydro-NCN partnership, contracts and other components required for construction and operation of the proposed $1.3 billion Wuskwatim Projects. The PDA has been approved by NCN Council and the Manitoba Hydro Board of Directors. The Manitoba Government was not in attendance at the event to announce the finalization of the PDA. Transmission corridors and infrastructure are not part of the PDA.

View March 30, 2006 NCN press release regarding PDA finalization
Download PDA Overview brochure (PDF)

The PDA was subject to ratification by NCN members in a secret-ballot vote June 7 (advance polling) and June 14, 2006. Polling stations were in Nelson House, South Indian Lake, Thompson, Winnipeg, Brandon and Leaf Rapids.

Manitoba hydro transmission line

NCN conducted a public consultation process on the Wuskwatim Project Development Agreement (PDA) with its Members in the weeks leading up to the referendum on June 7th & 14th. The PDA is a 1,500-plus page legal document. Explanatory information and presentation materials were prepared for the consultation process and were available on the NCN web site. Print materials included:

  • an overview of the PDA;
  • a summary of the risks, benefits and safeguards;
  • a question and answer document;
  • a summary of the major contracts related to the PDA; and
  • a summary of the many separate agreements in the PDA

View March 30, 2006 NCN press release regarding the PDA consultations
Visit Manitoba Hydro website for more information on Wuskwatim Projects

The June 7th & June 14th referendum vote required a double majority to pass. A majority of eligible NCN Members (both on and off reserve) must vote and a majority (more than 50%) of those voting must vote to approve the PDA. A 'No' vote would mean Manitoba Hydro would not proceed with the project. If the referendum results in support for the PDA, the project still requires provincial and federal approvals.