On June 2, 2014, the Canadian Electricity Association’s Board of Directors presented the 5th annual Sustainable Electricity™ Awards in Vancouver, BC. These awards, evaluated by the Sustainable Electricity Program’s Public Advisory Panel, recognize company initiatives that demonstrate a commitment to pursuing the principles of sustainable development.
The following companies were recognized for their leadership and making a contribution to the success of the sector:
|Environmental Commitment Award
In Recognition of Hydro Ottawa’s Environmental Sustainability Strategy and Results Achieved to Date.
In 2009, Hydro Ottawa developed the Environmental Sustainability Strategy, which aims to reduce the impact of the organization’s operations on the environment and the community, as well as improve its environmental performance. By the end of 2013, the Strategy achieved notable results in three key areas: overall carbon footprint (through improvement in fleet, facilities, technology infrastructure, and non-hazardous waste management and recycling); supply chain sustainability and green procurement; and building a culture of environmental sustainability in business practices and the workforce.
As part of the Strategy, Hydro Ottawa has measured and reduced its carbon footprint through a number of means, including the replacement of vehicles with hybrid or more energy-efficient vehicles, the installation of building automated systems, and the rationalizing of printing services. As part of this program, Hydro Ottawa’s offers alternative billing solutions to customers. Presently, 66,000 customers enjoy the convenience of E-billing and over 104,000, or 33% of Hydro Ottawa customers, are subscribed to MyHydroLink website, which offers online customer services.
Hydro Ottawa also has built environmental considerations into their procurement processes, and works to source from local firms all in an effort to reduce their carbon footprint. Buying greener products and services presents another opportunity to reduce the environmental impact of Hydro Ottawa’s operations. Hydro Ottawa has also developed and implemented a point system for evaluating supplier proposals that uses environmental designations and best practices as a tie-breaker for differentiating close competitive bidders.
Hydro Ottawa also encourages a culture of environmental sustainability. The organization has enacted extensive conservation efforts in the community, and encourages employees to conserve, reduce, re-use, and recycle. As a result of its efforts, Hydro Ottawa was also selected as one of Canada’s 50 Greenest Employers (for the 4th year in a row), a title that recognizes organizations that lead the nation in incorporating environmental values into their corporate culture.
Hydro Ottawa is working to continuously improve these core strategic areas, while building its capacity to further promote innovation and leadership in environmental leadership.
Hydro Ottawa has captured some of its efforts to improve its environmental sustainability in its 2013 Corporate Social Responsibility Report. Photo courtesy of Hydro Ottawa.
|Social Responsibility Award
Ontario Power Generation Inc.
In Recognition of the Building Successful Partnerships with First Nations and Métis Communities
Ontario Power Generation (OPG) was recognized for its strong commitment to building and growing mutually beneficial working relationships with First Nations and Métis communities in Ontario. Currently the company is working with more than 50 First Nations and Métis communities from across the province on several electricity projects.
OPG’s First Nations and Métis Relations division helps guide the development of these relationships in keeping with the organization’s First Nation and Métis Relations Policy. The policy, developed in 2007, sets out the company’s objectives for respecting rights and interests, as well as developing and maintaining mutually beneficial relationships and partnerships with First Nations and Métis communities. The policy also includes a requirement to engage in community relations and outreach, and to provide capacity-building support, including employment and business contracting.
In 2006, OPG and the Lac Seul First Nation partnered on the Lac Seul Generating Station in North West Ontario. The partnership, still in effect, has benefited the community through economic opportunities, joint ventures, training programs and more.
More recently, OPG established a development partnership with Moose Cree First Nation for the Lower Mattagami River Hydroelectric Project. The project is the largest hydroelectric undertaking of this kind in northern Ontario, and is located in the Moose River Basin in northeastern Ontario. The Moose Cree First Nation has up to a 25 percent equity share in the project, which will deliver 438 MW of clean, renewable power when complete in 2015. OPG also partnered with the project’s design build contractor, Kiewit-Alarie to resource the project with Aboriginal talent and from this, the non-profit organization, Sibi Employment & Training (Sibi), was created. Sibi successfully manages a training-to-employment program for the redevelopment project, and to-date, more than 700 First Nations and Métis members have been employed on the project.
Based on its success with the Lac Seul Generating Station and the Lower Mattagami River Project, OPG continues to pursue similar prospective economic partnerships that will provide for long-term commercial arrangements while respecting the evolving relationship between OPG and the First Nations and Métis peoples. Forward looking, a third partnership project is currently in development with the Taykwa Tagamou Nation.
Ontario Power Generation’s President and CEO Tom Mitchell with Moose Cree First Nation Chief, Norm Hardisty at the signing of the Amisk-oo-Skow Agreement. As mentioned above, OPG has established a development partnership with Moose Cree First Nation for the Lower Mattagami River Hydroelectric Project. The project is located in the Moose River Basin in northeastern Ontario. The $2.6 billion dollar project will deliver 438 MW of clean, renewable power when complete in 2015. The Moose Cree First Nation has up to a 25 per cent equity share in the project. Photo courtesy of Ontario Power Generation Inc.
|Economic Excellence Award
BC Hydro Power and Authority
In Recognition of the Development and Implementation of Modular Diesel Generating Stations (MDGS) in Remote Communities
BC Hydro’s Remote Community Electricity (RCE) Program offered BC Hydro electric utility service to eligible remote communities in British Columbia who are not currently served by BC Hydro or any other public utility. These communities are much smaller and more remote than other off-grid communities that are already served by BC Hydro, and presented challenges such as large swings in seasonal and daily loads, and instantaneous fluctuations. The ability to scale the load baring capability of these power systems was also a concern, as a single new commercial building could potential double an entire community’s load requirements. BC Hydro also considered renewable energy integration, and varying weather conditions.To address these challenges BC Hydro embarked on the design and development of sub 1 MW modular diesel generating stations (MDGS) in conjunction with Finning Power systems.
The two stations were successfully implemented in two communities in 2013, and have improved the reliability of electricity supply, and resulted in a reduction of greenhouse gases and noise emissions. The stations have provided a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to integrate adaptable renewable energy into the system for remote communities. These projects have achieved the following key objectives:
-Minimum life cycle cost
-Safe and reliable
-Scalable to achieve standardization & economies of scale
-Easily transportable to remote locations
-Minimum environmental footprint
-Minimum site installation and commissioning
-Remote control and monitoring
-Flexibility to resize and relocate
Looking forward, BC Hydro will be installing a third Modular Diesel Generating station in 2015. It has also set up committees to share the learnings with other Canadian utilities who are interested in the design and implementation of these modular diesel generating stations in remote Canadian communities.
The Modular Diesel Generating Station (MDGS) at Tsay Keh Dene. Photo courtesy of BC Hydro and Power Authority.