The Ontario Waterpower Association (OWA) is thrilled to congratulate Dokis First Nation and Hydromega Services Inc. for winning the 2014 Pollution Probe Sustainability Award. Established in 2011, the Pollution Probe Award celebrates extraordinary achievement by individuals or organizations working toward positive, tangible environmental change and exemplifying in their work the Pollution Probe values, including: inclusive, independent, non-partisan, results-oriented, focused, evidence-based, learning and innovative.
The Okikendawt project is being developed by OWA Member Hydromega Services Inc. and the Dokis First Nation and consists of a waterpower facility with an installed capacity of 10 MW. The project is a model of sustainable development, community building, environmental and cultural stewardship and has earned national recognition.
Premier Kathleen Wynne presented the award on Nov. 25 to Chief Denise Restoule.In her remarks, Chief Restoule stated “The partners have forged a close and collaborative working relationship through the course of project development, financing, construction, and in 2015, operations. Hydromega is an outstanding project development company with a deep understanding and appreciation for Aboriginal communities. Dokis First Nation is advised by Chris Henderson of Lumos Energy, Canada’s leading Clean Energy Advisor to Aboriginal communities.”
“Hydromega’s and Dokis First Nation’s significant investment in this project will have direct benefits to the community and the environment,” said Paul Norris, President of Ontario Waterpower Association. “This project is an excellent example of the opportunities that exist across the province to develop new waterpower facilities with local community and Aboriginal partnerships and is the result of an inspiring commitment to an inclusive, community-driven approach to energy resource development.”
The Okikendawt project is located at the site of the Portage Dam on the French River in Ontario. The generation station will be located on Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) land. PWGSC operates two control structures on the French River and one water control structure on the Little French River. These structures are used to control the level of Lake Nipissing and to regulate flows on the French River and the Little French River. The new powerhouse will be built on the West Bank of the existing control structure at Portage Dam.
During project development major efforts were taken to advance a number of key goals, such as; Improving Walleye Fishery Habitat, Protecting Breeding sites of the Blanding’s Turtle, Preserving Ancient Archaeological Pictographs, Planning to Reconstitute the Traditional Chaudiere Portage, and Preserving Stone “Pots” from the Portage Channel.