The Qulliq Energy Corporation is moving ahead on a plan to build two hydroelectric dams near Iqaluit.
Corporation president Peter Mackey says the company's board has approved spending to complete a feasibility study and an environmental review.
"Once that's done we can certainly look at going to market or working with the federal and territorial governments to bring the project forward," he said.
The project’s total cost is estimated at $450 million. So far nobody has offered firm financial commitments, and the Nunavut Government is held to a strict borrowing limit of $400 million.
"The actual debt cap will play a role in determining whether QEC can move ahead on its own or whether we'll need a P3 or other partners," he said.
Mackey said they hope to complete a feasibility project in 2014, and finish with the Nunavut Impact Review Board a year later.
He said the dams would be built by 2019. By that time, Mackey said Iqaluit will need two dams.
"We can look at in 2019 what our load requirements are, and they will have grown by 2019, so we would have to complete the second phase."
Two sites have been selected — Jaynes Inlet and Armshow South — both on the southern side of Frobisher Bay.