Hydro One selects contractor to help deliver the Waasigan Transmission Line project

The Waasigan Transmission Line project will support economic growth and electricity reliability in northwest Ontario 

TORONTO, May 3, 2023 /CNW/ - Hydro One Networks Inc. (Hydro One) has reached a critical milestone in the Waasigan Transmission Line project which will bring much needed power to northwestern Ontario and enable economic growth to the area. The company announced it has awarded the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to Valard Construction LP (Valard). 

"With their strong history of building electrical infrastructure projects in Ontario, we are confident that Valard is well positioned to design, build and deliver the Waasigan Transmission Line," said Andrew Spencer, Executive Vice President, Capital Portfolio Delivery, Hydro One. "Aligned with Hydro One's procurement policy for Indigenous sourcing, a large portion of the Waasigan transmission line will include the purchase of goods and services from qualified Indigenous businesses as subcontractors to Valard.  This builds on our overall commitment to source five per cent of all of Hydro One's purchases of materials and services from Indigenous businesses by 2026. Valard's experience in Indigenous engagement will help us meet that goal."

"As Ontario's largest electric power infrastructure solutions provider, we are excited to be part of another project that will have a lasting and positive impact," said Carey Kostyk, President, Valard.. "Working closely with Indigenous communities, local businesses and Hydro One, we will further strengthen the local economy and build necessary infrastructure to benefit all of northwestern Ontario."

Hydro One completed a market evaluation to identify and engage the most qualified EPC contractors in the electrical transmission industry. Valard demonstrated its ability to safely deliver projects that include a comprehensive procurement plan and have made strong commitments to Indigenous engagement and participation as part of their role in the project.

Hydro One's new industry-leading 50-50 equity partnership model will be applied to the Waasigan Transmission Line project, offering nine First Nations a 50 per cent equity stake in the transmission line component of the project including Lac des Mille Lacs First Nation (LDMLFN) and eight First Nation communities represented by Gwayakocchigewin LP (GLP). The GLP communities include Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation, Eagle Lake First Nation, Lac La Croix First Nation, Fort William First Nation, Seine River First Nation, Lac Seul First Nation, Nigigoonsiminikaaning First Nation, and the Ojibway Nation of Saugeen.

Throughout the duration of the project, Hydro One will work with its First Nation partners and Valard to establish shared project values and expectations. Hydro One and First Nation partners will monitor the construction progress working in collaboration with Valard. Hydro One is confident the commitments to the proximate and impacted Indigenous Communities will be realized. 

"Gwayakocchigewin means 'making decisions the right way.' GLP's goal is to achieve meaningful economic participation for its First Nations, while protecting the lands, waters, and cultural values potentially impacted by the Waasigan Transmission Line Project," said Tom Johnson, President of Gwayakocchigewin LP. "GLP will ensure that Valard adheres to the protocols and requirements of the eight GLP partner First Nations and fulfils their commitments for Indigenous participation in delivering the project."

"The Lac des Mille Lacs First Nation would like to extend congratulations to Valard for the successful execution of their EPC bid for the proposed Waasigan Transmission Line project," said Chief Whitecloud, Lac des Mille Lacs First Nation. "We would also like to congratulate Hydro One in completing this milestone achievement.  Our First Nation welcomes the opportunity to continue to work with both Valard and Hydro One on the Waasigan Transmission Line project."

Hydro One is currently undertaking an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the project under the Ontario Environmental Assessment Act. The review helps to identify a final route for the transmission line, predict and assess potential effects, and identify measures to minimize and eliminate potential negative impacts on the environment. This year, Hydro One plans to submit a Leave to Construct (Section 92) application to the Ontario Energy Board (OEB). 

The Waasigan Transmission Line is a proposed new double-circuit 230 kilovolt transmission line between Lakehead Transformer Station (TS) in the Municipality of Shuniah and Mackenzie TS in the Town of Atikokan, and a proposed new single-circuit 230 kilovolt transmission line between Mackenzie TS and Dryden TS in the City of Dryden.

To learn more about the project please visit: www.HydroOne.com/Waasigan.

Hydro One Limited (TSX: H)

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 $31.5 billion in assets as at December 31, 2022, and annual revenues in 2022 of approximately $7.8 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 2022, Hydro One invested approximately $2.1 billion in its transmission and distribution networks, and supported the economy through buying approximately $1.9 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 Leader™ by Electricity Canada.

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.

About Valard Construction LP

Valard Construction, a Quanta Services company, is Canada's premier utility contractor, as well as head of the Valard Group of Companies. Valard has full-service capabilities for transmission, distribution, substations, foundations, telecommunications, and renewable energy. Valard has distinguished itself in environmental responsibility and community stewardship. We provide comprehensive EPC+ (Engineering, Procurement, Construction) and maintenance services to utilities, independent power producers, mining, oil and gas industries, and rural electric associations throughout all Canadian provinces and territories and abroad. Since 1979, we've delivered projects safely, on time and on budget. We have the experience, knowledge, and resources to take on any utility project, any size, any complexity, any place.

SOURCE Hydro One Inc.

For further information: Hydro One Media Relations 24 hours a day at 1-877-506-7584 (toll-free in Ontario only) or 416-345-6868