Canadian utility Hydro-Quebec has reportedly signed a $125M deal with the Innu of Uashat Mani-Utenam (Uashaunnuat), paving the way for development of the 1550MW Romaine hydroelectric complex.
Soon after the announcement of the Romaine hydroelectric complex, the Uashaunnuat opposed the construction of the project, including the location of its transmission lines. In June 2009, the Uashaunnuat, the Innu traditional families and the political body representing 3,800 Innu Takuaikan Uashat Mak Mani-Utenam (ITUM) filed a motion for a permanent injunction with the Quebec Superior Court, stating that the proposed electric transmission lines run through the heart of traditional lands of the Uashaunnuat and Innu traditionnal families. According to reports from the Montreal Gazette, the Uashaunnuat has now agreed to drop legal proceedings, in return for $80M in cash over the next four years, and a further $45M in construction contracts.
The Romaine hydroelectric complex involves the construction of four generating stations with an average annual output of 8 TWh. Construction began in 2009 and will run to 2020, with the first generating station (Romaine-2) scheduled for commissioning in late 2014. Hydro-Québec estimates that cost of the project will amount to $6.5B.
This project presently constitutes the largest construction undertaking in Canada.