By Tawnya Plain Eagle
Files from Altalink and Piikani Resource Development Ltd.
A recently approved limited partnership provides the Piikani Nation with the opportunity to make an equity investment in the transmission infrastructure that crosses their land and delivers a valuable new revenue stream the First Nation.
“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 apart of the evolving energy sector.”
An application from AltaLink and Piikani Nation for the new limited partnership –PiikaniLink – was approved by the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) on November 14, 2018.
During the consultation for the Southwest 240 kV project, AltaLink worked closely with the Piikani Nation to reach agreements that allowed the new transmission line to cross First Nation land.
“These agreements are 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, 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 partnerships in place, Piikani Nation has exercised its option 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.
“The time and effort that was put into this project over the past eight years has been exhaustive from an Investment point of view’, it’s great to see that this Piikani Nation Option Agreement has finally come to fruition,” said Councilor Fabian North Peigan.
“In order for AltaLink to build the transmission line, they had to consult the Piikani Nation people, first our Chief & Council then our TKS Admin Team, more importantly, our traditional knowledge keepers who were entrusted to verify important sacred traditional and burial sites related to Piikani Nation lands,” he added.