Category Archives: Matawin River

Terminated FIT Contracts

The Ontario Rivers Alliance filed a Freedom of Information Application with the IESO in February of 2016 to obtain the following list of terminated Feed-in-Tariff Contracts: Continue reading

10 Ontario Rivers Protected from 19 Hydroelectric Projects

Wabagishik Rapids – Vermilion River

Update: In the end, ORA and our membership stopped 24 projects on 12 rivers.

MEDIA RELEASE:  For Immediate Release:  13 July 2016

10 Ontario Rivers Protected from 19 Hydroelectric Projects

SUDBURY:  The Ontario Rivers Alliance (ORA) is celebrating a major victory in the protection of 10 Ontario rivers that have been under threat from 19 proposed hydroelectric projects.   Actions taken by the ORA and its members have led to what was considered to be impossible – the termination of 19 Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) Contracts.

In 2011, ORA came into being to address a rash of 87 proposed hydroelectric proposals initiated under the Green Energy Act.  The offer of generous incentives to produce power during peak demand hours had proponents rushing to claim access to falls and rapids on rivers all across the province.  The number of proposals to actually receive FIT Contracts was soon reduced to 41, and of those, Xeneca Power Development Inc. had secured 19 contracts for projects involving 23 Crown sites on 10 Ontario rivers. Continue reading

McGraw Falls GS, Matawin River

Water flowing downstream from the weir to the second falls

McGraw Falls Water Power (MFWP) is proposing to develop a 2 MW hydroelectric plant on the Matawin River at the McGraw Falls Dam, 7km southwest of Shabaqua Corners. A rubber dam will be added to the existing weir and will work in coordination with the existing reservoir upstream. The powerhouse will be located approximately 150m downstream of the dam. A wood pole distribution line will run 5km northwest along the existing roadway connecting to the existing line to the Shabaqua Distribution Station.

On April 1st, 2009 McGraw Falls Water Power posted a Notice of Completion, signaling that the ESR for McGraw Falls G.S. was completed. For more information please see the Project Documents section.

River:  Mattawin River
MNR Site No:  2AB13
Project Name:  McGraw Falls Generating Station
Project Location:  McGraw Falls Dam, Thunder Bay, ON
Installed Capacity:  2 MW
Contract:  Feed-in-Tariff (FIT)
Proponent:  Xeneca Power Development Inc.
Project Website:
Status:  Approved – uncertain whether construction has actually happened.

McGraw Falls – Letter from Allen to Enskaitis, Xeneca Power Development Ltd.

July 30, 2011:  “I see that the NOC indicates that requesters of elevations had a deadline of May 1, 2009 to submit their requests to the Director of Environmental Assessment and Approvals Branch, Ministry of the Environment. That date, as you know, precedes the date when the Ontario Legislature passed the Green Energy and Green Economy Act (GEA) on May 14, 2009. See here. That leads to some questions which I ask you to answer.

 1. Is the McGraw Falls project being considered under the Green Energy and Green Economy Act?

 2. Were there any requests for elevation prior to the May 1, 2009 deadline?

 3a. Has Xeneca received approval to proceed with the project?

3b. If so where are the approval documents posted?

 4. The Appendices include a notice dated February 21, 2008 which mentions specialty studies “currently in process” re each of habitat, hydrology and archaeology*.

 4a. Does the April 1, 2009 ESR include all of the information from these three studies?

 4b. Were any other specialty studies initiated after Februray 21, 2008?

  • I have an interest in cultural heritage values so commend Xeneca for ensuring that “McGraw Falls Water Power continues to work very closely with the Thunder Bay Region Ministry of Natural Resources to ensure that local values are examined and studies are focused appropriately” (McGraw Falls ESR Appendix A). An indication of appropriate focus and treatment of cultural values would be inclusion in the ESR of all five classes of cultural heritage values listed in Ontario’s Forest Management Guide for Cultural Heritage Values, Section 1.4, page 7. (OMNR. 2007. Forest Management Guide for Cultural Heritage Values. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. Queen’s Printer for Ontario. Toronto. 84p). Those classes are:

–          archaeological sites

–          archaeological potential areas

–          cultural heritage landscapes

–          historical Aboriginal values

–          cemeteries Continue reading