First Nations planning to extend Ontario’s power grid hundreds of kilometres into the province’s remote north say getting their communities off diesel generators could save millions of dollars.
In May, the Ontario government is expected to designate the transmission line extension as a priority project, and the First Nations-led Wataynikaneyap Power hopes to be selected as the company to build it.
Meanwhile, 25 First Nations in the province remain reliant on diesel generators to provide electricity to their growing communities. Residents say it’s a dirty, unreliable and expensive way to create power.
Here are some of the costs of that diesel power in one First Nation, by the numbers:
- 1: average number of times the power goes out each week in North Spirit Lake First Nation (source: local residents)
- 3,000: number of litres of diesel one generator can use on a cold winter day (source: Barry Strachan, public works manager)
- 800,000: number of litres of diesel fuel trucked across the winter ice road and stored in tanks at North Spirit Lake (source: Strachan)
- 3: distance in kilometres the diesel is stored from the community
- 1 million: approximate number of dollars North Spirit Lake First Nation spends on diesel fuel each year (source: Strachan)
- 418: number of people who live on reserve at North Spirit Lake First Nation (source: Indigenous Affairs and Northern Development Canada)
- 250: number of dollars monthly household electricity bills are capped at in North Spirit Lake First Nation. The First Nation subsidizes bills that exceed that. (source: Strachan)
- 2024: target date to complete the transmission line that would connect North Spirit Lake and 15 other First Nations to Ontario’s power grid (source: Wataynikaneyap Power)
- 1: number of dollars in billions the Ontario Power Authority says would be saved over 40 years by connecting remote First Nations in the province to the power grid.(source: Ontario Power Authority)
For the original version of this article, click here: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay/diesel-power-first-nations-1.3557769