Sustainability Reporting Initiative
Our non-consumptive use of water ensures quality and supply remain intact.
Maintaining the integrity of water resources is a priority in the environments in which we conduct generation activities.
We have one solar thermal facility in Chile that uses a limited amount of water in a closed loop for heat transfer and also requires about 2,500 m³ of water per year for regular cleaning, a quantity equal to one Olympic-size swimming pool.
In 2019, as in all other years, our hydroelectric facilities consumed no water while generating electricity since they only use the natural flow of a river and the temporarily diverted water is returned to its original river source free of contaminants. Our solar and wind facilities do not consume water in their operation. Domestic water consumption is minor and limited to usage at our four offices and at facilities that have washrooms.
Maintaining the integrity of aquatic life at our hydroelectric facilities is something we take very seriously. Throughout Innergex’s history, we have taken great care to address, avoid and mitigate any impacts our projects may have on aquatic species. We have designed and constructed or improved 11 fish enhancement projects at some of our hydroelectric facilities to offset any impacts that the facilities could have on local fish-bearing water systems. These projects have proven to be extremely successful at maintaining and even sometimes enhancing fish populations.
We are proud of our past successes that have oftentimes gone beyond regulatory requirements. For example, our environment team has planned, designed and constructed fish enhancement projects near a number of our hydro facilities in British Columbia, Canada, to help protect the variety of fish that inhabit bodies of water at the sites. The results of the five-year monitoring programs have found positive results – there were no adverse effects on the local fish communities and, in some instances, the fish abundance increased after five years of hydro operation counter to predictions made during the environmental impact assessment for the project.
Combined, these projects have constructed or enhanced over 100,000 m2 of new fish habitat.
Construction phases at our facilities, depending on their generation type and size (MW), can be completed in as little as 12 months and up to as long as 36 months.
During construction, our Engineering, Procurement, and Construction contractors are required to provide waste management plans that include proper recycling or disposal of waste that follow local, regional and federal regulations as well as our procedures laid out in our internal waste management guidelines.
Our Spill Management Procedure in British Columbia is designed to improve our response and align with provincial regulations. We are presently formalizing similar procedures in our other areas of operation in line with provincial, state and federal requirements.
In 2019, Innergex had two projects that completed construction activities, both in the United States.
Fish and Wildlife Monitoring Programs
Innergex takes great care in ensuring our impact on terrestrial and aquatic life is mitigated, minimized or avoided at all times. We invest in considerable short and long-term monitoring programs that run during the early development stage (with pre-project baseline surveys) right through the operational phase. Before and after data are compared to confirm predictions made during project permitting.
Much of the monitoring is carried out by independent third-party specialist environmental consultants with involvement by our Indigenous partners. For some projects, we have partnered with NGOs or academia by providing the necessary capital and support to conduct multi-year, academic-level monitoring programs. Monitoring results contribute new data and knowledge and have provided valuable research insight in some instances that has greatly added to the industry’s understanding of environmental issues and renewable energy development.
The type of facility, its geographic location, social acceptance and regional regulatory requirements are all considerations taken into account when designing a monitoring program. For example, at our hydroelectric facilities, the programs typically focus on aquatic and terrestrial life. We understand that every location is unique and requires its own planning and attention.
Our environment team manages the ecological health of
329,366 m², or 61 football fields,
of fish habitat created to offset temporary impacts from construction activities and any longer-term impacts that could arise during operation
At Innergex, we are keenly aware that developing renewable energy projects has impacts on the waterbodies where they are constructed and operated. Our priority is to ensure that our footprint is mitigated or minimized and that we can integrate renewable energy facilities as harmoniously as possible into the environments we work in. Every effort is made to return the temporarily disturbed watercourse to its original state upon project completion and we invest in long-term monitoring programs to evaluate the progress of the restoration programs put in place.
Replanting native vegetation, repairing riparian zones, and earthworks projects are important areas of focus that play a role in returning the waterbodies back to their original state during the post-construction phase. These activities are commonly monitored and approved by independent third-party professionals.
Innergex’s policies are designed to guide the Corporation and its employees to ensure compliance in all aspects of its business. These policies ensure the sustainable growth of the Corporation through supporting employees with information sharing and training, providing transparency with shareholders and the public, and clearly laying out the Corporation’s vision for ethical and acceptable behaviour. The policies are reviewed on an annual basis and updated accordingly. Policies relating to this section include:
Please note: On May 23, 2019, the Corporation announced completion of the sale of its wholly owned subsidiary Magma Energy Sweden A.B., which owns an equity interest of approximately 53.9% in HS Orka hf, owner of two geothermal facilities in operation, one hydro project in development and prospective projects in Iceland. As a result, they are not included in this document.