The Keeyask Generating Station in Manitoba, Canada, has begun producing hydroelectricity six-months ahead of the project's control schedule, with a further six units to be added in the coming months. 

The 695MW Keeyask Generation Project is a collaborative effort being undertaken by the Keeyask Hydropower Limited Partnership – a partnership between Manitoba Hydro and four partner First Nations: Tataskweyak Cree Nation, War Lake First Nation; York Factory First Nation and Fox Lake Cree Nation. The generating station is located on the Nelson River approximately 30 kilometers west of Gillam, in the Split Lake Resource Management Area and within the ancestral homeland of the four partner First Nations.

"This accomplishment is the result of a massive, coordinated team effort between Manitoba Hydro, our Keeyask Cree Nation partners, contractors, trade unions, and every person that has worked on our project,” said Manitoba Hydro. “We should all be proud of what we have achieved on our Keeyask Project. It has taken hard work, perseverance and overcoming multiple challenges from all involved to reach this milestone.”

The Keeyask project has been running ahead of its control schedule by working year-round through sub-arctic winters (down to -40º C), and more recently the pandemic. The Bechtel, Barnard and EllisDon Joint Venture team employed on the project have been using innovative logistics measures and tools, including placing extreme cold weather concrete during the winter months. The electricity generated at Keeyask will be used to power homes and businesses in Manitoba, and allow Manitoba Hydro to meet its export commitments in both Canada and the US.

"This is a significant milestone in this iconic renewable project. Producing electricity six-months ahead of schedule whilst navigating the challenges of COVID-19 is a tremendous accomplishment and testament to the dedication of each and every member of the Keeyask team," said Kelvin Sims, Bechtel's Infrastructure general manager, Americas.