Keeyask Generating Station achieves major milestones

Construction on new renewable energy project progressing well.

Construction on Manitoba’s newest hydropower facility, the 695-megawatt Keeyask Generating Station, is moving ahead to meet and potentially exceed the project’s 2019 construction goals.

Located on the lower Nelson River in northern Manitoba, the progress on Keeyask’s earthworks and concrete is helping move the project into the next phase of construction, which includes installation of specialized mechanical and electrical systems, installation of turbine and generator components, as well as connections to the transmission grid, with the goal of working toward the commissioning of the generators in the coming months.

The next major project milestone is to impound the forebay, a man-made body of water ahead of the main reservoir, in February 2020. The project is on track to achieve this milestone which would enable an earlier in-service date than initially anticipated. But with the size and complexity of a project like Keeyask there is still a lot of work to be done before any adjustments can be made to the project schedule.

Construction achievements are only one aspect of the project, which is being developed by the Keeyask Hydropower Limited Partnership (KHLP), a venture between Manitoba Hydro and four northern Indigenous communities: Tataskweyak Cree Nation, War Lake First Nation, York Factory First Nation, and the Fox Lake Cree Nation, collectively known as the Keeyask Cree Nations (KCNs).

The project reached a different kind of milestone recently: 3.5 million hours worked by KCN partner employees and 9 million hours worked by all Indigenous employees. There has been a total of 27 million hours worked by all employees.

Keeyask continues to build on our Wuskwatim Generating Station’s legacy as a new model for hydro development in partnership with local Indigenous communities. Manitoba Hydro’s approach to engaging and working side-by-side with KCN communities from the early stages of planning, through to construction and eventually operation is helping to build a mutually respectful and beneficial relationship between the utility and its KCN partners.

2019 is the final peak year for construction on the Keeyask Project. When complete, the Keeyask Generating Station will create a legacy of carbon-free electricity well into the future, generating approximately 4,400 gigawatt-hours of clean, renewable electricity every year – enough to power almost 400,000 homes.