A recently approved limited partnership provides the Piikani Nation the opportunity to make an equity investment in the transmission infrastructure that crosses their land and delivers a valuable new revenue stream for the First Nation.
“It’s great to see that this Piikani Nation Option Agreement has finally come to fruition,” said Chief Stanley Grier, Piikani Nation. “In order for AltaLink to build the transmission line, they had to consult the Piikani Nation people, and more importantly our traditional knowledge keepers who were entrusted to verify important sacred traditional and burial sites related to Piikani Nation lands.”
An application from AltaLink and Piikani Nation for the new limited partnership – PiikaniLink – was approved by the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) on November 13, 2018.
During consultation for the Southwest 240 kV project, AltaLink worked closely with the Piikani Nation to reach an agreement that allowed the new transmission line to cross First Nation land.
“This agreement is a win-win for the First Nation and for Albertans because we were able to save millions of dollars for Alberta ratepayers by not having to build a much longer line,” said Scott Thon, President and CEO of AltaLink. “At the same time, the Piikani Nation is provided with the opportunity to invest in the transmission line on their land and create a reliable and consistent revenue source for their people.”
With the limited partnership in place, the Piikani Nation has exercised its option on June 1, 2019, to invest 51 per cent of the equity portion of the transmission line and earn a regulated rate of return. Under an operating agreement, AltaLink will continue to maintain the transmission line over the life of the project.
“I’m very proud of the partnership we have created with AltaLink, my acknowledgement to all of those that have helped solidify this relationship,” Councilor Doane Crow Shoe said. “Piikani looks forward to the long term benefits alongside AltaLink. It is my hope that this collaboration will improve how Indigenous communities can be a part of the evolving energy sector.”