Results of the pilot Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol assessment of the Hydro Tasmania Trevallyn Power Station were released today. The Protocol’s Governance Committee recognised the need to make an example of a Protocol assessment report available publicly, as a Pilot Assessment. Hydro Tasmania generously offered IHA and the Protocol’s Governance Committee the opportunity to apply the Protocol in Tasmania, with the objectives to identify opportunities for improvement, to publish a Protocol assessment report that demonstrates the methodology and product of a Protocol assessment, and to provide a capacity-building opportunity for the Governance Committee, Hydro Tasmania and Entura.
Trevallyn was considered by the assessment team to exceed basic good practice on all but one topics of the Protocol’s Operation Stage tool, and to meet a high level of performance (meeting or almost meeting proven best practice as defined in the Protocol) on all but one topic.
“The results of this assessment, captured in the sustainability profile, show that the Trevallyn Hydropower project is generally high performing across a wide variety of sustainability topics. Protocol assessments such as these help diverse stakeholders become more informed about the sustainability aspects of hydropower projects” said Douglas Smith, IHA Sustainability Specialist.
Background to the Trevallyn assessment
The assessment, which took place in October 2011, included a site visit and five days of interviews in Launceston and Hobart.
The assessment team was led by Dr Bernt Rydgren of Åf Infrastructure (Sweden), and included Dr Joerg Hartmann Chairman of the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Council, and Douglas Smith, IHA Sustainability Specialist.
Hydro Tasmania’s lead for the assessment was Andrew Scanlon, Sustainability and Safety Manager, and Dr Helen Locher, Hydro Tasmania’s Principal Consultant in Sustainability, coordinated numerous stakeholder interviews and the gathering of extensive documentary evidence.
“Hydro Tasmania has been a major supporter of the development of global hydropower sustainability guidelines and assessment approaches. We are pleased to have had this opportunity to test the Protocol, and encourage other hydropower developers and operators to do the same” said Andrew Scanlon, Hydro Tasmania Manager Sustainability & Safety
A number of international observers also participated including: Karin Seelos, Statkraft, Dr Jian-hua Meng, World Wildlife Fund, David Harrison, The Nature Conservancy, and Dr Donal O’Leary, Transparency International, all of whom are members of the Protocol’s Governance Committee, and Michelle Archer, Mighty River Power. International Hydropower Association (IHA) staff, Cameron Ironside, Programme Director, and Simon Howard, Sustainability Specialist, also participated as observers.
Hydro Tasmania is an IHA Sustainability Partner. Sustainability Partners are hydropower industry members taking a leading role in promoting the continuous improvement of hydropower sustainability performance by working with IHA to complete the first Protocol assessments.
They receive a flexible package of services as part of the Sustainability Partnership including training/capacity building, an unofficial Protocol assessment, and an official Protocol assessment.
Ten other international organisations and companies have already become IHA Sustainability Partners: EDF, E.ON, Itaipu Binacional, GDF Suez Energy Brazil, Hydro Equipment Association, Landsvirkjun, Manitoba Hydro, Odebrecht, Sarawak Energy, and Statkraft.