Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 25/5/2011 (2251 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
It's called Keeyask and, if all goes according to plan, the cost will be equivalent to building 18 Canadian Museum for Human Rights, but in northern Manitoba, not The Forks.
Or the cost of 29 new football stadiums, but on the Nelson River, not the University of Manitoba.
In other words, it's big.
And it will be built to supply more hydroelectric power to the United States, which because of new environmental laws, are looking north to Manitoba to supply clean energy for years to come.
Keeyask's construction, already years in the works, was put on the front-burner Wednesday when Premier Greg Selinger announced a combined $4 billion deal to sell 475 megawatts of hydro power to Minnesota and Wisconsin starting in 2015.
"This is the largest dollar sale of exports that we've had in the history of Manitoba Hydro in absolute dollar terms," Premier Greg Selinger said at a news conference at Hydro's downtown headquarters. "We like to think of it as Manitoba's oil, but more sustainable and certainly greener as well."
Hydro's export deals will earn the province $21 billion over the next 20 years as clean energy from Manitoba replaces old coal burning plants and as some U.S. states pass laws that the power they use has to come from renewable resources.
The Opposition Progressive Conservatives dismissed the announcement as a rehash of an April 17, 2008 press release by former Premier Gary Doer, and used it to buttress their stance that Bipole III transmission line should not be built down the west side of the province.
"I think it's just further confirmation that the shorter, cleaner, east side route is the way to go," PC Leader Hugh McFadyen said. "Minnesota and Wisconsin are to the south and east of Manitoba. The most direct route to those markets is down the east side by a significant amount."
Selinger said the province has no intention of reversing its stance on bipole as that would open up a big can of worms.
"This would allow us to be identified as a premium product," he said of the province's plan to protect its wilderness. "We don't want to put that at risk by putting a bipole through the boreal forest and the UNESCO World Heritage site. That would generate additional controversy."
He also said Hydro continues to work on another power sale to Wisconsin. If that 500-megawatt deal happens, it would lead to the construction of the Conawapa Generating Station. If approved, it will be Manitoba Hydro's biggest power dam and take at least eight years to build.
Last year Hydro signed a deal worth $3 billion to sell between 375 and 500 megawatts to Xcel Energy of Minneapolis for 10 years starting in 2015.
The Minnesota Power deal comes as Manitoba's Public Utilities Board weighs the risks of Hydro spending $20 billion over the next decade to build Keeyask and Conawapa, plus Bipole III. That hearing continues into next month.
The two dams would add another 1,930 megawatts of electricity to Hydro's system to use in the growing domestic market and to export more to Minnesota and also Wisconsin. Hydro's new $1.3 billion Wuskwatim project on the Burntwood River is to generate 200 megawatts starting next year.
IT'S the next hydroelectric generation site to be built under Manitoba Hydro's plan to export more power to the United States and Saskatchewan.
It's 725 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg on the lower Nelson River.
It will cost $5.6 billion to build and will produce 695 megawatts of power, the fourth largest of Hydro's generating stations. (Hydro operates 15 dams).
Work to build it started several years ago, the most important aspect being the signing of the Joint Keeyask Development Agreement May 29, 2009.
It outlines the partnership arrangements for the First Nation's participation: Fox Lake Cree Nation, Tataskweyak Cree Nation, War Lake First Nation and York Factory First Nation.