Tahltan take 5% stake in $2.5 billion energy assets

The Tahltan First Nation is getting into the clean energy business by taking a $124 million stake in the run-of-river projects originally developed by AltaGas Ltd. in northwestern B.C.

The three energy assets include the 195-megawatt Forrest-Kerr run-of-river hydro project. The other two are the McLymont Creek and Volcano Creek run-of-river hydro projects. The total value of the three projects is $2.5 billion.

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The Tahltan have struck a deal to take a 5% stake in the three plants, which were largely divested by AltaGas when it sold the majority share in its three B.C. energy projects to Axium Infrastructure Canada and Manulife Financial Corp. AltaGas retained a 10% share in the assets through its Canadian spinoff, AltaGas Canada Inc.

“This clean energy deal is a game-changer and will provide our Nation with an asset that will give back for over 100 years,” said Rick McLean, chief of the Tahltan Band.

The Forrest-Kerr project was developed by AltaGas in conjunction with the Northwest Transmission line, which was built to bring power to the Golden Triangle – the northwest corner of the province where the government is trying to encourage new mining projects.

The Tahltan have agreements with a number of mining ventures in their territory and are generally supportive of mining.

“We are extremely pleased to have the Tahltan Nation invest in the Northwest BC Hydroelectric Facilities,” said Jared Green, CEO of AltaGas Canada Inc. “They have been a great partner on these facilities since the very beginning of the project and we look forward to working even closer with the Tahltan Nation, Axium and Manulife.”

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