Tahltan First Nation has acquired a minority stake in a portfolio of run-of-river hydro facilities in British Columbia, in what it claims is the largest clean energy investment by a First Nation in the province's history and one of the largest ever in Canada.
The Nation acquired the 5% stake in the 277 MW Northwest Hydro portfolio from Axium Infrastructure and Manulife Financial Corp.
The purchase price for the stake in the three-project portfolio was $124.3 million, implying a valuation for the whole portfolio of over $2.5 billion.
The projects are situated on the Iskut River in Tahltan First Nation territory, approximately 620 miles northwest of Vancouver. The Tahltan Nation is made up of the communities of Iskut, Dease Lake and Telegraph Creek.
The assets are the 195 MW Forrest Kerr project, which came online in October 2014, the 16 MW Volcano Creek project, which came online in December 2014, and the 66 MW McLymont Creek project, which came online in October 2015.
The facilities are contracted under three separate 60-year power purchase agreements with BC Hydro.
“This clean energy deal is a game-changer and will provide our Nation with an asset that will give back for over 100 years," said Rick McLean, the chief of the Tahltan Band, in a statement.
The Tahltan Nation has been an equity owner of one of the facilities, Volcano Creek, since it acquired a 2.7% stake in late 2014.
Last June, AltaGas sold 35% of its interest in the Northwest Hydro portfolio to a J.V. between Axium and Manulife for $922 million (PFR, 6/13), and sold the remaining 55% stake to the same J.V. this January for C$1.39 billion ($1.04 billion) (PFR, 3/21). It was agreed at the time that Tahltan Nation would be entitled to acquire an up-to-5% stake.
AltaGas spun off the remaining 10% of the portfolio by including it in the initial public offering of AltaGas Canada (PFR, 13/9).