Our organization guarantees environmental protection in all phases of our activity. Multidisciplinary teams in each country, which include professional and qualified environmental staff with extensive local knowledge, seek to prevent impacts in the early stages of the project and look for environmentally suitable locations for project sites.
Although our concern for the environment is present during the construction and operation phases, EDPR considers prevention the key to achieve sustainable development.
For environmental and cultural issues, the first formal step is the process of responsibly sitting a wind farm. The study includes the use of publicly available data including Geographic Information System (GIS) data layers and a site visit to evaluate all the natural resources that may be present at a particular location and provide information that will be used to guide and focus development into the most favorable locations.
During advanced stages of development and permitting, intensive environmental impact studies are developed to study use of the site by flora and fauna, the location of significant cultural resources, map wetland habitat throughout the project location, as well as provide noise and visual modeling, if they are required or necessary. During this stage of the project, a large amount of detailed information is collected on the biodiversity of the project area, data which is a significant criteria in the sitting process.
“We perform many studies before, during and after a wind farm is built. I believe we are doing everything possible to reduce any impact to the environment. As a company we also take action based upon those studies to help reduce any impacts.”
We also work collaboratively with all relevant agencies during the sitting process to ensure that adequate setbacks from significant resources are established to minimize any potential impacts on biodiversity in the area.
When a wind farm is fully developed and has been selected for construction, environmental monitoring takes place throughout the construction phase to ensure that work is undertaken whilst minimizing environmental impact, and if necessary, that corrective measures are implemented.
In addition to environmental monitoring, during construction we also develop plans to manage waste onsite and stabilize the site at the end of the construction.
Usually, the whole restoration process is monitored by external professionals to guarantee its success. The restored surface in 2010 after wind farms’ construction was about 232 ha.
Environmental monitoring is also carried out at our wind farms during operation. Wildlife monitoring and waste management plans are created, in addition to noise monitoring, revegetation and others, if determined to be necessary.
“EDPR has made great effort to keep land owners informed and updated on the progress of their development. They appear to be very conscious of the environmental impact that will result from the project. EDPR has become a welcomed member of our community and we look forward to having them here.”
In 2010 we have developed 880 studies during all the phases of our activity regarding different issues: fauna and flora, noise, cultural heritage, etc.
“EDPR typically goes beyond what is necessary in terms of environmental monitoring and performance, with some exceptions where regulatory climates are more restrictive.”
Wind farms in operation also contribute to the internal commitment of respect for environment through the implementation of measures with the objective of a wise use of resources and waste reduction.
One of the best examples of the environmental performance of the company is the EDPR Environmental Management System (EMS).
The EMS which is being implemented in EDPR according to ISO 14001 standards provides several benefits, including the following:
- Exhaustive control of applicable legal requirements and their compliance.
- Environmental performance monitoring.
- Definition of environmental objectives.
- Reduction of environmental risks.
- Promotion of new initiatives looking for continual improvement.
- Staff involvement and commitment of the organization.
- Resources management improvement and optimization of investments and costs.
- Operational control established which allows detailed monitoring of environmental features such as waste generation.