Feb 28, 2019

NunavutThe Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor) is providing over $1.6 million to support technical and feasibility studies on developing a hydroelectric-fibre optic link that would connect communities in the Kivalliq region to Northern Manitoba.

Two project partners, the Kivalliq Inuit Association and Anbaric Development Partners, are contributing an additional $818,168. Anbaric specializes in early stage development of large-scale electric transmission systems.

The studies will look at the feasibility of a main 230 Kilovolt, up to 1,200 kilometres of electric transmission line, several shorter medium voltage transmission lines, and a fibre optic line. These lines would originate in Northern Manitoba and serve five Kivalliq communities as well as Agnico Eagle Mines, a major employer in the region. The connection could significantly reduce fossil fuel usage and improve internet connectivity in these communities.

The project work being supported includes gathering technical data, conceptual design work, impacts costing, required permits, and government and stakeholder engagement.

A 2015 engineering study estimated the cost of hydroelectric-fibreoptic link to be $904 million, and would eventually pay for itself by reducing energy costs.