HENVEY INLET FIRST NATION, ON – Thousands of homes are now being powered by a new wind power facility.

In a press release, Pattern Energy Group LP and Nigig Power Corporation announced the completion of the 300-megawatt Henvey Inlet Wind power facility. The wind turbine is located on the northeast shore of Georgian Bay and powers roughly 100,000 homes.

Mike Garland, CEO of Pattern Development, said the project was the largest single-phase wind facility in  Canada.

“It’s an honour to partner with Henvey Inlet First Nation on this historic project that created hundreds of local jobs and is now providing a strong new source of revenue for the First Nation,” Garland said. “Renewables are helping to reduce the impact on our environment caused by climate change and this new facility is now generating clean, homegrown energy for 100,000 homes each year without any harmful emissions.”

Greg Newton, the CEO of Nigig Power Corporation, said Henvey Inlet can start looking forward to more independence as a community now that the power facility is up and running.

“Our youth will see an even brighter future from expanding health and education services along with increased infrastructure,” Newton said.

Chief Wayne McQuabbie added on Newton’s sentiment. He said the completion of the turbine marks a historic moment for the community.

“New infrastructure is underway in the First Nation as a result of this new facility and we see better days ahead,” McQuabbie said. “We’ve already increased our administrative staff and employees in the community and we look forward to ensuring a positive future for our upcoming generations, including economic spin-offs and job security. As Anishinabek, we are proud to contribute to a green economy and are proactively moving forward in a time of climate change.”

Henvey Inlet Wind has a 20 year Power Purchase Agreement with the Independent Electricity System Operator for 100 per cent of its production.

According to the release, there were roughly 1,000 workers on-site during the construction of the turbine. Almost one-third of those employed identified as First Nations.

Now that it is complete, the facility employs 20 permanent full-time workers and adds over 100 indirect workers, including maintenance contractors.

The release added the project generated $25 million towards First Nation businesses and is projected to continue to add $10 million a year to Henvey Inlet First Nation’s economy.

Henvey Inlet Wind promised to contribute $1 million to other regions within the 104 km transmissions line over the next 20 years. McDougall, Seguin, Carling, and Archipelago townships will get funds to advance community initiatives, and enhance ecological preservation, restoration or education.

Henvey Inlet Wind will be jointly owned and operated by Pattern Development and Henvey Inlet First Nation. Pattern Development owns and Nigig Power Corporation owns a 50/50 share of the facility.