Quanta: Wataynikaneyap Power LP selects Valard Construction for transmission project in Ontario

Quanta said that its scope of work on the project consists of EPC services for more than 1,800 kilometers of transmission and distribution infrastructure ranging in voltage from 25 kV to 230 kV and 22 substations

Quanta Services, Inc., on Sept. 10 said that its operating subsidiary, Valard Construction, was selected by Wataynikaneyap Power LP to provide engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) solutions for the Wataynikaneyap Transmission Project in northwestern Ontario, Canada, that is expected to be completed by the end of 2023.

Quanta said that its scope of work on the project consists of EPC services for more than 1,800 kilometers of transmission and distribution infrastructure ranging in voltage from 25 kV to 230 kV and 22 substations. The company noted that once completed, the project would be the largest electric infrastructure project ever implemented to connect remote communities in Ontario, including 17 First Nations communities, with electricity generation and distribution systems that are not currently connected to the provincial transmission grid.

Preconstruction activities are expected to begin immediately, with construction to begin in 1Q20, Quanta said, adding that full notice to proceed is expected to occur upon the project’s financial close in the coming months.

In a separate Sept. 10 statement, Wataynikaneyap Power said that the project will reinforce the existing transmission grid to Pickle Lake and will expand grid service north of Pickle Lake and Red Lake to ultimately connect 17 First Nations communities. The company said that Valard was selected to design, procure materials and equipment for, as well as build the 1,800 kilometers of transmission lines that pertain to Phase 1 and 2 of the project; a formal announcement is expected once financial close is achieved.

According to Wataynikaneyap Power’s website, the Pickle Lake area is currently serviced by the E1C line, which is a radial 115-kV transmission line that is owned and operated by Hydro One.  The customers serviced by that line include the three First Nation communities (Slate Falls First Nations, Cat Lake First Nation, Mishkeegogamang First Nation), the Town of Pickle Lake and Goldcorp’s Musselwhite Mine, via the privately owned and operated M1M transmission line, the site noted. The E1C line is more than 70 years old, operated at capacity, and is susceptible to frequent and prolonged outages, according to the site.

Of Phase 1 of the project, site noted that the line will be designed to operate as a 230-kV AC single circuit, a 230/115-kV autotransformer, related switching facilities and the necessary voltage control devices, leaving the option to operate the transmission line at 115 kV.

Phase 1 includes such components as an overhead, alternating current transmission line and associated components that will be located within a two-kilometer-wide corridor about 300 km in length, as well as a connection facility to serve as a connection between the project transmission line and an existing 230-kV line owned and operated by Hydro One, the site said. As part of Phase 1, a transformer station and ancillary components is proposed at Pickle Lake to provide for connection and switching of the 115-kV alternating current transmission line to existing Hydro One and the Musselwhite Mine transmission lines, the site said.

Phase 2 of the project includes such components as overhead 115-kV and 44-kV transmission lines for two subsystems, north of Pickle Lake and Red Lake, and associated components that will be located within a two-kilometer-wide corridor, as well as distribution stations located in or near each First Nation community, with new connections to the existing distribution facilities, the site said.