Attawapiskat, Kashechewan and Fort Albany are remote First Nations on the west coast of James Bay in north-eastern Ontario. Northern Ontario First Nations have unique challenges around the availability of utilities such as hydro.
Our Electricity Story
- Prior to 2001, Attawapiskat, Fort Albany and Kashechewan’s electricity was produced by diesel generators which were noisy, polluting and unreliable
- Their limited capacity was also an economic and social barrier to community growth
- Residential supply was limited to 60 amps or less – not enough power to heat an entire house with electric baseboards
Identifying a Solution: Five Nations Energy Inc. (FNEI)
- 1985 – study confirmed that a 115kv high voltage line to replace diesel plants was feasible
- 1994 – Mushkegowuk Council and the three Chiefs undertook an Energy Study
- Examined renewables and transmission line
- Transmission line deemed most cost effective solution
- 1997 – Feasibility study confirmed transmission line is economically viable with minimal environmental impact
- Chiefs decided to proceed, despite lack of provincial support
- Communities created and incorporated Five Nations Energy Inc. (FNEI)
- FNEI is one of six transmission companies in Ontario, only one that is wholly First Nations owned in Ontario and Canada!
- FNEI celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2017!
A Dream is Realized
- 2000 – The 270 km transmission line became a reality
- 2001 – Fort Albany connected in November
- 2001 – Kashechewan connected in December
- 2003 – Attawapiskat connected in December
- Communities now supplied with an unrestricted, reliable, safe source of energy
Northern Ontario First Nations Power Corporations
The Communities set up three Power Corporations: Fort Albany Power Corporation (FAPC), Kashechewan Power Corporation (KPC) and Attawapiskat Power Corporation (APC).
Power Corporations must deal with constantly changing regulatory compliance, including mandatory provincial Conservation Demand Management (CDM) programs between 2010 and 2020.
FAPC, KPC and APC launched CDM programs in 2013, three years late due to the need to negotiate for additional funds and concessions to deliver the mandated provincial conservation programs in their remote communities. Find contact info here for your local power corporation.