The Kelsey Generating Station is located approximately 28 kms upstream of York Landing on the Nelson River, at the southwest part of Split Lake. The dam was built between 1957 and 1961. It was initially operated on 5 turbines, with a sixth added in 1969, and a seventh added in 1972. The station currently has a generating capacity of 225 megawatts (MW). Several YFFN members worked on the construction of the Kelsey G.S., and today YFFN has a partnership with Sodexho Ltd. to provide catering services to the workers at the Kelsey camp.
Manitoba Hydro has recently begun replacing the turbines in the Kelsey station. This “Kelsey Re-runnering project” will upgrade the old turbines and will increase the generating capacity of the station.
On January 17, 2003 Manitoba Hydro advised 15 First Nations (including YFFN) that it was going to be doing a maintenance and redevelopment project at the Kelsey G.S. The Kelsey Re-runnering Project involves a capital investment of about $170 million to replace the 7 turbines at the Kelsey G.S., and to complete required transmission upgrades to the Northern AC system. The project will increase the power generation of the Kelsey plant by an additional 86 MW. This additional output is projected to have substantial export value (in the order of tens of millions of dollars annually).
Manitoba Hydro called for tenders on the Re-runnering project in 2003. At that time there had been no consultation with potentially affected First Nations (including YFFN) and no environmental studies had been conducted to assess how the project would affect fish populations, and their health and habitat. YFFN has taken the position that the Kelsey Re-runnering project is a future development as described in Article 9 of the 1995 Comprehensive Implementation Agreement.