Keeyask Generating Station’s first unit began providing electrical power to Manitoba on Feb. 16, Manitoba Hydro said Feb. 18.
“First power from Keeyask builds on Manitoba Hydro’s enviable positions in the low carbon world of the future,” said Manitoba Hydro CEO Jay Grewal in a press release. “Nearly 98 per cent of our electricity is already generated using clean, renewable and virtually carbon-free hydropower – a huge advantage for our province as North America moves to reduce carbon emissions. The energy from Keeyask will help preserve that advantage for decades to come, while also helping to keep electricity rates for Manitoba customers among the lowest on the continent.”
A partnership between Manitoba Hydro and Tataskweyak Cree Nation, War Lake First Nation, York Factory First Nation and Fox Lake Cree Nation, known collectively as the Keeyask Hydropower Limited Partnership, construction of Keeyask began in 2014. Originally planned to have a $6.5 billion budget and to be in service by 2019, the project is tracking to meet its revised budget of $8.7 billion and coming into service six months earlier than its revised in-service date of August of this year.
Keeyask is a 695-megawatt station in the Nelson River and will have seven units producing an average of 4,400 gigawatt hours of electricity annually when it is completed, Manitoba Hydro says, which will make it the fourth-largest generating station in the province.
About 600 peopele are working at the site to bring the other six units into service one-by-one over the course of the next year. In the more than six years since construction began, 27,300 employees have been hired and performed 32,600,000 person-hours of work. Sixty-nine percent of those who worked on the project since 2014 are from Manitoba and 39 per cent are Indigenous, Hydro says.