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Black Lake First Nation membership approves hydroelectric project

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Compiled by Shari Narine







Black Lake First Nation community members have voted to move forward with the $630 million 50-MW Tazi Twe hydroelectric project, a joint venture with SaskPower. Of the 44 per cent of eligible voters, 63 per cent voted in favour of the project. “Many people have been working toward this day for many years,” said Chief Rick Robillard, of Black Lake First Nation, “and I’m happy to hear that our community is in support of Black Lake First Nation becoming proud owners in a profitable, long-term business.” The Tazi Twe project is a run-of-river scheme that will be constructed on reserve land. The primary components of the project include a water inlet structure on Black Lake across from Fir Island, a penstock that will provide flow to a powerhouse and a tail race that will return water to the Fond du Lac River near Middle Lake.  Review of the project has been completed by the Ministry of Environment, but public consultations still need to take place. An environmental impact statement has been filed with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency and the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment Environmental Assessment Branch. Construction could begin in late 2016 or 2017, with a projected in-service date of 2019.