TORONTO, Sept. 22, 2022 /CNW/ - Today, in partnership with First Nation leaders from across Ontario, Hydro One announced its new industry-leading equity partnership model with First Nations on new capital transmission line projects with a value exceeding $100 million. Hydro One's equity model will offer First Nations a 50 per cent equity stake in all future large scale capital transmission line projects and will transform the benefits of infrastructure development for First Nation communities for generations to come.
"For too long, First Nations have borne the impacts of infrastructure development in their traditional territories without seeing the benefits. We recognize that we did not always get it right, and this equity model signals a significant shift in how Hydro One will work with First Nations," said Megan Telford, Chief Human Resources Officer, Hydro One. "For our collective success we must continue to push existing boundaries. Hydro One is committed to its journey of taking meaningful action to advance Reconciliation and we will continue to listen to and learn from Indigenous communities with a focus on building trusting and long-lasting relationships."
This announcement follows the signing of an agreement in the spring with eight First Nations represented by Gwayakocchigewin Limited Partnership (GLP) for the Waasigan Transmission Line project. As an example of the new partnership model, this agreement provides the First Nations represented by the GLP with the opportunity to invest in an equity stake in the project. In total, nine First Nations will have the opportunity to invest in 50 per cent of the Waasigan Transmission Line project, which will bolster capacity and support economic growth in northwest Ontario.
This model will also apply to the five transmission lines Hydro One is developing in southwest Ontario. The Minister of Energy recently directed the Ontario Energy Board to amend Hydro One Networks Inc.'s transmission license to develop four transmission lines to meet growing electricity demand and grow the economy in southwest Ontario. This is in addition to Hydro One's previous transmission designation for the Chatham to Lakeshore line in 2020.
Hydro One has also committed to increasing its Indigenous procurement spend to 5 per cent of all materials and services by 2026 and ensuring that 20 per cent of its corporate donations and sponsorships support Indigenous communities.
"Gwayakocchigewin's partnership agreement with Hydro One on the Waasigan Transmission Project provides a tremendous opportunity for our First Nations in northwestern Ontario, and demonstrates the right approach to Indigenous Participation. In addition to the economic benefits of ownership, our eight First Nations can work closely with Hydro One to ensure responsible development of this Project, including the protection of the land, waters and our traditional way of life. We commend Hydro One for its progressive vision towards a new relationship with First Nations."
- Tom Johnson, President of Gwayakocchigewin Limited Partnership
"Hydro One's new equity partnership model is a significant milestone in the journey of Reconciliation and rebuilding economic prosperity for the Lac des Mille Lacs First Nation. Our Nation is committed to working collaboratively with Hydro One, and other partners, to develop sustainable energy projects that balance our First Nation's economic, environmental, and social values. We congratulate everyone who has worked on this new model which offers significant benefits to the First Nations in the form of shared decision-making with respect for our cultural protocols and traditional lands."
- Chief Whitecloud, Lac des Mille Lacs First Nation
"The Chippewas of the Thames First Nation ("COTTFN") would like to congratulate Hydro One on its announcement to establish a 50 per cent equity precedent for First Nation ownership of transmission projects, including projects impacting shared Treaty lands. The announcement marks a meaningful commitment to a mutually beneficial relationship that will evolve over many years and projects. This equity offering represents a historic opportunity to generate long-term economic benefits to our Nation that will contribute to an increased quality of living for our members. We look forward to continuing to build on our positive relationship with Hydro One on current and future projects."
- Chief Jacqueline French, Chippewas of the Thames First Nation
"Today's announcement by Hydro One is a major step toward true and meaningful economic Reconciliation with Indigenous Nations impacted by electricity transmission projects in Ontario. First Nations Major Projects Coalition is pleased to be supporting our members Chippewas of the Thames First Nation and Aamjiwnaang First Nation whose treaty lands are impacted by these projects. We are appreciative of the collaborative approach taken by Hydro One in establishing this historic precedent – it is one that should be emulated by other transmission infrastructure providers across Canada."
- Niilo Edwards, Chief Executive Officer of the First Nations Major Projects Coalition.
"Today marks a significant step towards reconciliation for Ontario First Nations. This new opportunity for partnership with Hydro One that will see First Nations benefit equally in future transmission line development. For far too long, First Nations have not had access to these types of partnerships and today marks an exciting change and I am proud of the community Leaders who have worked with Hydro One to reach this milestone!"
- Glen Hare, Ontario Regional Chief
"Hydro One's new policies recognize and support the economic sovereignty and land and water stewardship of our communities. Our Three Fires Confederacy territory within Southwestern Ontario is the cradle of a new clean energy renaissance. I am excited to see our Three Fires nations come together to grow Ontario into a world class business destination based on collective economic prosperity and ecological stewardship."
- Ogiimaa Jason Henry, Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation
"Caldwell First Nation is proud to be a partner with Hydro One in making sure communities and businesses in our treaty lands get the energy they need to grow and thrive. The economic benefits that come with infrastructure ownership are game changing for the Three Fires Nations in southwestern Ontario, and for everyone who lives and works here."
- Chief Mary Duckworth, Caldwell First Nation
"I want to congratulate Hydro One on its new equity partnership model with First Nations communities for new large scale transmission projects. New transmission lines are critical to supporting electrification and the economic wellbeing of our province, and First Nations are critical partners in collectively achieving those goals."
- The Honourable Todd Smith, Minister of Energy
"The new equity model demonstrates a deep and long-term commitment to creating a strong partnership between Hydro One and Ontario First Nations communities. These relationships built on trust will transform the benefits of infrastructure development for future generations for years to come."
- The Honourable Greg Rickford, Minster of Northern Development and Minister of Indigenous Affairs
Hydro One Limited, through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, is Ontario's largest electricity transmission and distribution provider with approximately 1.5 million valued customers, approximately $30.4 billion in assets as at December 31, 2021, and annual revenues in 2021 of approximately $7.2 billion.
Our team of approximately 9,300 skilled and dedicated employees proudly build and maintain a safe and reliable electricity system which is essential to supporting strong and successful communities. In 2021, Hydro One invested approximately $2.1 billion in its transmission and distribution networks, and supported the economy through buying approximately $1.7 billion of goods and services.
We are committed to the communities where we live and work through community investment, sustainability and diversity initiatives. We are designated as a Sustainable Electricity Company by the Canadian Electricity Association.
Hydro One Limited's common shares are listed on the TSX and certain of Hydro One Inc.'s medium term notes are listed on the NYSE. Additional information can be accessed at www.hydroone.com, www.sedar.com or www.sec.gov.
Forward-Looking Statements and Information:
This press release may contain "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Words such as "expect", "anticipate", "intend", "attempt", "may", "plan", "will", "can", "believe", "seek", "estimate", and variations of such words and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking information. These statements are not guarantees of future performance or actions and involve assumptions and risks and uncertainties that are difficult to predict. Therefore, actual outcomes and results may differ materially from what is expressed, implied or forecasted in such forward-looking information. Some of the factors that could cause actual results or outcomes to differ materially from the results expressed, implied or forecasted by such forward-looking information, including some of the assumptions used in making such statements, are discussed more fully in Hydro One's filings with the securities regulatory authorities in Canada, which are available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Hydro One does not intend, and it disclaims any obligation, to update any forward-looking information, except as required by law.
SOURCE Hydro One