The James Smith Cree Nation, AECOM and Tesla Energy Institute have committed to work together on the construction of a hydro-electric power plant.

The $2 billion Pehonan Hydro-electric Project is to be built on James Smith Cree Nation territory.

The three parties formalized the agreement on Thursday with the signing of a memorandum of understanding.

“Our collaboration in good faith is focused on paving the way to achieve sustainable economic and business development, full-time long term employment of our members and capacity building projects for James Smith Cree Nation and its members,” James Smith Cree Nation Chief Wally Burns says. “This opportunity is a long-time dream and intention of James Smith Cree Nation, to build and operate hydropower plant on Indigenous land is of the utmost importance for all treaty people. We are extending an open invitation to all businesses and the provincial and federal government to be part of this venture for the benefits of all.”

The plant is expected to be operational in approximately 5 to 7 years after an environmental assessment is finished.

“We strive for innovative, alternative and flexible approaches to create ways that empower people and communities globally,” Tesla Energy President and CEO Dragan Racic said.

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