Sustainability Reporting Initiative
Our non-consumptive use of water ensures quality and supply remain intact.
We are very proud that our hydroelectric, wind and solar facilities conserve and maintain the health of our water resources.
Our hydroelectric facilities use water in a non-consumptive fashion. Using the natural flow of a river, water is partially diverted through a penstock to a powerhouse where it rotates the turbines to generate electricity and is then returned to its original river source free of contaminants.
Our wind and solar photovoltaic facilities do not require water to produce electricity. Though solar panels typically are cleaned one or two times a year, the quantity of water used is considered negligible. Our solar thermal facility 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 swimming pool.
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 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 populations had increased in abundance.
Combined, these projects have constructed or enhanced over 100,000 m2 of fish habitat.
Construction phases at our facilities, depending on their type and size, can be completed in as little as 12 months up to as long as 36 months.
During construction activities, we ensure that all parties involved in the construction commit and implement rigorous processes in order for the waste generated and hazardous materials used to follow a strict waste removal protocol ensuring that waste is collected and recycled or disposed of, in accordance with applicable regulations and as outlined in our Environment, Health, and Safety Policy.
In 2018, Innergex had one project, the Flat Top wind project in Texas that completed construction activities and two projects that began construction, the Phoebe solar project and Foard City wind project, both also located in Texas. Construction will continue on these projects throughout the year with expected completion dates in Q3 and Q4 2019 respectively.
Innergex is keenly aware of the impact energy developments have on the landscapes in which they are developed. Our priority is to mitigate, minimize or avoid those impacts to the best of our ability by employing our expertise, experience and the most current technological and scientific methods available. Every effort is made to return the temporarily disturbed land 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.
We are proud of our past successes that have oftentimes gone beyond regulatory requirements. For example, our environment team 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 found positive results – there were no adverse effects on the local fish communities and, in some instances, the fish populations had increased in abundance.
Replanting native vegetation, repairing riparian zones, and earthworks projects are important areas of focus that play a role in returning the water bodies back to their original state during the post-construction phase. These activities are monitored and approved by independent third-party professionals.
In 2018, as part of our long-term commitments, almost 80,000 trees were planted on land associated with projects in British Columbia. Not only do they help restore the ecosystem, they also mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and reduce the amount of CO2 being absorbed by the oceans, thus slowing their acidification.
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.
Please note: On May 23, 2019, Innergex completed 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 (“HS Orka”). The activities of HS Orka included two geothermal facilities, one hydro project in development and prospective projects in Iceland and are now treated as discontinued operations. As a result, they are not included in the Sustainability Reporting Initiative.