Taykwa Tagamou developing new hydro project
Taykwa Tagamou is looking for employment and economic development opportunities through the development of a run-of-river hydroelectric project on New Post Creek.
“It’s a good opportunity for our people to make a difference with the hydro-electric grid,” said Taykwa Tagamou Chief Linda Job. “It’s going to bring a lot of economic and social benefits to the people here, not only our membership but also the surrounding municipalities.”
Job said the project initially began in 2007 when Coral Rapids Power, a wholly owned company of the Taykwa Tagamou Nation, and Ontario Power Generation got the go ahead from the community membership.
“This important partnership between Coral Rapids Power and Ontario Power Generation will provide Taykwa Tagamou Nation with a long-term investment opportunity for a sustainable economic base for the community,” Job said. “We look forward to working with the Ministry of Energy and OPG on the New Post Creek Project, which will also provide benefits to the surrounding municipalities with economic development opportunities and creating employment.”
Job said community members will be employed with the project, noting some community members are already working at the Lower Mattagami hydro project.
“Right now some are working on the Lower Mattagami and gaining some skills and experience,” Job said. “Hopefully they will be able to carry those on to this New Post Creek project.”
The 25 megawatt generating station is scheduled for construction beginning in 2014 on New Post Creek near its outlet to the Abitibi River. The development is expected to be completed and in service by 2017.
“We are one step closer to seeing our partnership create substantial benefits for Taykwa Tagamou Nation’s community and this region, including education and training, jobs, economic investment and an additional 25 MW of clean, renewable hydropower.” Job said, adding that the project team has been working with local tourist operators to ensure the project does not affect their business.
“We’ve been looking at water flows for the past four or five years now and we’re trying to get that information out and consult with those tourist operators, like Howling Wolf Expeditions,” Job said. “They usually go and visit the falls, so we’ve been working with them on how we are going to ensure that it won’t impact their business that much.”
Job said the run-of-river hydro-electric project will not affect water flow like a hydro dam does.
“Hydroelectric power has long been a central pillar in the government’s renewable electricity portfolio and will continue to play a crucial role in our energy mix,” said Bob Chiarelli, minister of Energy. “This partnership also offers a natural transition for the First Nations workforce in the region as they continue to develop expertise in hydro development in the province.”
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