Kebaowek, July 20, 2022 – The Témiscamingue RCM, with the Kebaowek, Wolf Lake, and Pekuakamiulnatsh Takuhikan (Mashteuiatsh) First Nations, is proud to announce the creation of the Onimiki Renewable Energy Limited Partnership. This partnership will lead the development of the Onimiki project, which consists of two small hydro plants. As a historic collaborative effort, the Kebaowek, Wolf Lake, and Mashteuiatsh First Nations will hold 60% of the shares, while the Témiscamingue RCM will hold the remaining 40%.
The Limited Partnership will constitute the best vehicle for ensuring that governance remains independent from the limited partners. The limited partners will soon appoint two representatives from each party to form the Limited Partnership Board of Directors. The Board of Directors will act as the project manager for both the development phase and the operation of the facilities.
To optimize the process for realizing the hydropower project, the Onimiki Renewable Energy Limited Partnership does not intend to submit a bid for Hydro-Québec’s 2021-01 call for tenders. However, it will continue to develop the project’s subsequent phases with the community’s key stakeholders. Public discussion meetings with the various communities are planned for next Fall, parallel to pursuing an environmental impact study that aims to answer partners and stakeholders’ questions and concerns.
Over the next few months, the Limited Partnership will continue its discussions with the various partners and Hydro-Québec to sign a power purchase agreement. In April 2022, the Québec government announced its intention to launch a new 1,300 MW call for tenders for renewable energy, for which submissions are due in 2023.
“We are delighted to announce the creation of the Onimiki Renewable Energy Limited Partnership. In addition to meeting the market needs and the high demand for electricity in Québec and Témiscamingue, the Onimiki community project would provide revenue sources that will be directly reinvested in projects supporting the citizens of Témiscamingue.”
– Claire Bolduc, Prefect, Témiscamingue RCM
“The Limited Partnership is an opportunity to consolidate the business relationship between the First Nations and the Témiscamingue RCM, that would allow our communities to benefit from significant spinoffs and attract new businesses in the area.”
– Lance Haymond, Chief, Kebaowek First Nation
“For the past twenty years, our communities have worked together to develop this innovative project that would enhance our region’s natural resources. The creation of this limited partnership is one more step towards the realization of the Onimiki hydropower project made by and for our community.”
– David McLaren, Spokesperson, Onimiki Renewable Energy Limited Partnership and Delegate from Kebaowek First Nation
- The Onimiki project would secure a better supply of electricity in Témiscamingue, in addition to encouraging the arrival of new industries in the region;
- Onimiki would provide substantial royalties to the community from year one of the operation and directly fund socio-economic projects for the entire population, especially youth and seniors.
About the Onimiki project
With a total investment of more than $200 million, the 42-megawatt (MW) project would supply power to approximately 13,500 households, promote the regional grid’s reliability, and drive the establishment of industries in the region. With anticipated economic benefits from year one, the Onimiki project could be an important lever for Témiscamingue’s Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities, while also contributing to innovative projects for youth and seniors.
Hydropower development in the area would benefit from several assets, including:
- Existing infrastructure in the Gordon Creek area, known for its favourable conditions for hydropower development;
- The current Kipawa reservoir’s management, which allows for support of the available flow and, thereby the energy production, without altering the water-level management plan;
- The proposed structures being accessible from existing roads and highways;
- The proposed power plants are located near the Hydro-Québec network, facilitating a direct grid connection.