The James Smith Cree Nation has entered into a partnership with AECOM and Tesla Energy Institute to bring a hydro-electric power plant to Saskatchewan’s east-central region.
The three new partners signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Thursday.
The project, dubbed the Pehonan Hydro-electric Project, has been in the works for years for the James Smith Cree Nation, located roughly 60 kilometres southeast of Prince Albert.
“This opportunity is a long-time dream and intention of James Smith Cree Nation,” James Smith chief Wally Burns said in a prepared statement. “To build and operate a hydro power plant on Indigenous land is of the utmost importance for all Treaty People.”
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The Pehonan Hydro-electric project is touted as a power generation asset that would be capable of producing power at competitive rates for the rest of the century, according to documents.
It’s also touted as having a low environmental impact, and as a project that will help the province meet greenhouse gas reduction goals that will be a job creator for Indigenous people and residents of Saskatchewan.
The proposed project would be installed along the North Saskatchewan River, in the James Smith Cree Nation’s territory.
Tesla Energy Institute’s role in the project focuses on economic development opportunities, research and development projects and education initiatives.
“We strive for innovative, alternative and flexible approaches to create ways that empower people and communities globally,” Tesla Energy President and CEO Dragan Racic said in the news release.