Renewable Energy Projects
OKT has extensive experience negotiating renewable energy deals on behalf of its Indigenous clients – from Impact Benefit Agreements, to small projects (<500kw) wholly owned by Indigenous communities, to co-ownership of large wind, solar, hydro projects, and transmission lines. Some examples of this work include:
- Counsel to Taykwa Tagamou Nation, who partnered with Ontario Power Generation to develop, build and own a 28MW Hydro Facility in northeastern Ontario.
- Counsel to Aamjiwnaang First Nation and Walpole Island First Nation, who partnered with Northland Power Inc. to develop, build, and own the Grand Bend Wind farm, a 100 MW project in southwestern Ontario.
- Counsel to the United Chiefs and Councils of Mnidoo Mnising (6 First Nations) who partnered with Northland Power Inc. to develop, build, and own the McLean’s Mountain Wind Farm Project, on Manitoulin Island, Ontario.
- Counsel to Wahgoshig First Nation and Taykwa Tagamou Nation on the purchase and financing of an ownership interest in four 10MW Solar facilities owned by Northland Power Inc. in northeastern Ontario.
- Counsel to six Indigenous communities on the purchase and financing of an ownership stake in an electricity transmission line in northern Ontario;
We work all aspects of the deal to get the maximum benefit for you.
Financing. We understand how to finance projects, including through low-interest, limited recourse loans that eliminate risk to the community while maximizing distributions. In this regard, we are very familiar with various programs available to our clients that permit this kind of financing, such as the Aboriginal Loan Guarantee Program, administered by the Ontario Financing Authority, and the First Nations Finance Authority. As a result of our experience closing deals with government guarantees in place, where applicable, we know what we must demand from developers and governments on behalf of our clients to ensure that we can obtain such financing.
Tax. We understand the various tax vehicles to be utilized to ensure distributions from any projects are made on an income tax exempt basis, and can suggest trust structures regarding the ultimate preservation of the distributions earned.
Employment and Business Opportunities. Through both our IBA work and our commercial partnership work, we also have considerable depth of experience regarding Indigenous business and employment procurement during construction and operation of these projects. We are skilled at presenting these concepts to the leadership of the communities we work for, ensuring their participation in project development occurs on an informed, collaborative basis with appropriate levels of control and oversight.