On August 28, 2020, a consortium of six Alberta First Nations represented by Backwoods Energy Services Limited Partnership (“Backwoods Energy”) and comprised of Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation, Enoch Cree Nation, Kehewin Cree Nation, O’Chiese First Nation, Paul First Nation and Whitefish Lake First Nation, partnered with OPTrust in structuring, negotiating and securing a loan guarantee for $93 million from the Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation (“AIOC”) for the purposes of investing in the Cascade Power Project (“Cascade”), a $1.5 billion project developed and to be managed by Kineticor Resource Corp. (“Kineticor”). The investment is being made through Indigenous Communities Syndicate LP (“ICS”), a holding vehicle, and marks a precedent-setting transaction as an accretive commercial transaction that enables Indigenous communities to acquire ownership in major energy and infrastructure projects in the country.
Cascade is a 900-megawatt combined cycle natural gas-fired generating facility to be located near Edson, Alberta, and is anticipated to supply eight percent of Alberta’s electricity needs. Construction will start immediately with commercial operations commencing in 2023.
Miller Thomson advised the Backwoods Energy deal team of Paul Poscente, Ryan McQuilter and Scott Alanen as well as the ICS and OPTrust Partnership entity on the transaction with a team comprised of Ken Phillips, Aimee Halfyard and Shashi Malik (Corporate/M&A), and Michael Morcom and Kyle Cadieux (Financial Services).