Kivalliq Inuit seek support from Ottawa for hydro-fibre link

“The project has received very positive responses from the federal government”

Kivalliq Inuit Association president David Ningeongan, second from left, meets with Treasury Board President Jane Philpott and other federal and territorial leaders in Ottawa on Feb. 4 to promote the Kivalliq Hydro Fibre link, which would connect five Nunavut communities to Manitoba’s network. (Photo courtesy of KIA)

By Sarah Rogers

The Kivalliq Inuit Association’s proposed hydro-fibre link would begin in Gillam, Manitoba, and run north to five Kivalliq communities: Arviat, Whale Cove, Rankin Inlet, Chesterfield Inlet and Baker Lake, as well as Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd.’s two operating gold mines. (Image courtesy of KIA)

The Kivalliq Inuit Association is pressing forward with its plans to bring renewable energy and broadband to the region.

The KIA led a delegation of Inuit leaders to Ottawa earlier this week to promote the now-estimated $1.2-billion plan and look for the federal government’s support.

Nunavut’s leaders have for years lobbied to extend Manitoba’s existing power grid north to communities along western Hudson Bay—the most recent feasibility study was completed in 2016.

This revised project includes both hydro and broadband, which would begin in Gillam, Manitoba, and run north to five Kivalliq communities: Arviat, Whale Cove, Rankin Inlet, Chesterfield Inlet and Baker Lake, as well as Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd.’s two operating gold mines.

The KIA’s Kivalliq Hydro Fibre Link has since teamed up with private-sector development partner, Anbaric Development Partners, an American firm that specializes in large-scale electric transmission systems.

KIA and Anbaric met with federal officials on Feb. 4 to promote the project, with the help of Nunavut premier Joe Savikataaq, Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. president Aluki Kotierk and Inuit Tapiriiit Kanatami president Natan Obed.

“The project has received very positive responses from the federal government and KIA is continuing to work with them towards exploring the development opportunity,” the KIA said in an emailed statement.

“The project offers a once in a generation opportunity for renewable energy and reduces emissions as well as the ability to further integrate renewables.”

The Inuit organization has little else to say about any plans for the project; currently the KIA and Anbaric are renewing studies from past initiatives.

They have pegged the cost of the hydro and fibre link at an estimated $1.2 billion, up from the estimated $904 million a feasibility study found it would cost to bring the hydro link alone.

But the KIA says the proposed project would translate into $40 million in annual savings from diesel costs and lower the Qulliq Energy Corp.’s energy supply costs by half.

The switch from diesel to hydro in those five Kivalliq communities and two mine sites could eliminate 380,000 metric tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year.

And the provision of fibre optic could also make internet speeds 3,000 times faster, project proponents say.

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(6) Comments:

  1. Posted by Sweet! on

    Great idea, now if we could only get onto nuclear it would as green as a fern.

  2. Posted by Northern Guy on

    I like this project a whole lot more than Gray’s Bay. If completed this project will bring tangible benefits to every resident in the Kivalliq unlike Gray’s Bay which is just a get rich quick scheme for the mining companies and the Kitikmeot development corps.

  3. Posted by Siut peter on

    Clearly the proposed is not near enough to replace the loss Nunavut has subdude already. Questionable how this works… ?Payout is imminently obvious. Kudos. Wish i had made it into politics !

    • Posted by But then… on

      Frankly, I’m glad you didn’t make it into politics. The last thing we need is more mindless cynicism.

  4. Posted by Siutiapik Peter on

    Clearly the proposed is not near enough to replace the loss Nunavut has subdude already. Questionable how this works… ?Payout is imminently obvious. Kudos. Wish i had made it into politics !

  5. Posted by Terry B. on

    It’s like my best friend, and idle, Chad Kruger said; Fiber is the fastest.

    Nickel back is my favourite band.

    Terry

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