Partnerships come in all shapes and sizes

Innergex characterizes partnerships as “shared efforts for shared success”.

Partnering has been part of Innergex’s genetic code since it developed its first hydro project more than 20 years ago. It intuitively grasped that working with others was the best way to go. Simply stated, the company defines a partner as one it “works in partnership with.” This encompasses collaborative efforts at all levels with Innergex employees, First Nations, municipalities, local communities, major clients, government bodies, suppliers and contractors, non-governmental organizations, and industry peers.

For Innergex, partnering means shared efforts for shared success. This approach has translated into many collaborations of all kinds, from business joint ventures to advocating for water protection, and is echoed in this quote from the Honourable Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy and Mines and Minister Responsible for Core Review: “As a renewable energy company, Innergex serves as a model in British Columbia. Our government values Innergex’s commitment as an important and responsible investor in the province.”

A partner of choice for First Nations

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Innergex has gained a reputation as a partner of choice for First Nations seeking to develop business opportunities in the renewable energy sector. The company enjoys active relationships with more than 40 First Nations in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec, and has signed formal revenue-sharing agreements with more than 20 of them. “We value our partnerships and will continue to build on these relationships wherever and whenever conditions allow for the development of new renewable energy projects,” says Bas Brusche, Innergex’s Director – Public Affairs, Western Region.

The Lil’wat Nation, with whom Innergex has signed several Impact Benefit Agreements since 2002 for the Upper Lillooet River and Boulder Creek projects currently under construction, also plans to jointly develop other renewable energy projects with Innergex in their traditional territory.

In 2002, Innergex signed an agreement with the Ojibways of the Pic River First Nation, who were already part-owners of two run-of-river hydroelectric facilities, to assess the potential for additional hydroelectric development within their traditional territory; this led to a joint venture to develop the 23 MW Umbata Falls project, which began commercial operation in 2008.

In 2005, the Kanaka Bar Indian Band and Innergex formed a partnership to develop a 49.9 MW run-of-river hydroelectric project for which the First Nations community owned the water license; that project, known today as the Kwoiek Creek facility, began operating in December 2013.

In 2012, Innergex was chosen by the Mi’gmaq communities of Quebec as their partner for the development of a 150 MW wind project on the Gaspé Peninsula in Quebec. In December 2013, the partners signed a letter of intent with Hydro-Québec Distribution for a 20-year power purchase agreement, which is subject to an order-in-council by the Quebec government, and are proceeding with the project’s development.

The Stellat’en First Nation near Fraser, British Columbia, approached Innergex to develop a wind farm for which it owns development rights and has already begun wind measurements.

In 2013, Innergex signed a letter of intent and a protocol agreement with the Saik’uz First Nation for the development of a wind farm near Vanderhoof, British Columbia.

Also in 2013, the Sts’ailes First Nation, with whom Innergex (formerly Cloudworks) has signed Participation Agreements since 2010 for existing facilities and projects currently under construction or development such as Tretheway Creek and Big Silver Creek, signed an Economic Development Agreement with Innergex to jointly develop the hydroelectric potential of their traditional territory, located mainly along Harrison Lake.

Test-pilot for BC’s environmental mitigation policy

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On-site compliance assessment at the Upper Lillooet Hydro Project in British Columbia.

Innergex participated in the BC Ministry of Environment consultations on its proposed Policy for Mitigating Impacts on Environmental Values, and when it came time to test the policy’s implementation on some actual projects, the company volunteered to do so at its Tretheway Creek hydro project. The trial applications aimed to bring consistency to identifying environmental values and components, developing impact assessments, using the mitigation hierarchy and selecting mitigation measures. Over the last two years, the company has used the policy as a framework for deciding on appropriate mitigation measures for the Tretheway Creek project. In particular, it addressed the possible impact of the transmission line trajectory on potential spotted owl habitat by designating a specific area for the eventual reintroduction of this species by the province and by contributing financially to this effort.

SWITCH, alliance for a greener economy in Quebec

In 2013, Innergex became a partner and member of the advisory committee of SWITCH, an “alliance” among industry associations, non-governmental organizations, and investment funds to advocate for strong political, economic and social leadership, coherent government policies, and private-public collaboration in fostering the transition to a greener Quebec economy. The company’s participation stems from its desire to act on its vision of a greener future.

The Energy Forum

In 2013, Innergex became a founding member of The Energy Forum, a collaboration among British Columbia independent power producers, industry associations, and non-governmental organizations working to address energy, climate and ecosystem challenges. The goal of this organization is to foster dialogue to address such issues as climate change, environmental stewardship, responsible development and energy efficiency.

World Wildlife Fund Canada

Over the last few years, Innergex has collaborated with World Wildlife Fund Canada as part of the BC government’s consultative process on water issues. Representatives from both organizations participated in the technical advisory group on the proposed Water Sustainability Act, in support of such issues as regulating ground water and incorporating environmental water flows in all water licensing decisions.

“Innergex’s collaboration, as co-chair of the Energy Forum’s water ‘squadron’, on the BC Water Sustainability Act has increased our understanding of the operational and field challenges of implementing a new water law in BC and is helping to reach our goal of improving legal protection for environmental flows in this province.”

Linda Nowlan, WWF-Canada’s Interim Regional Director, British Columbia and Pacific

Pacific Salmon Foundation – Independent review of run-of-river hydro projects in British Columbia

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Ecofish Research crew member conducting a fish habitat assessment at the Upper Lillooet Hydro Project in British Columbia.

In October 2012, Clean Energy BC (CEBC) approached the Pacific Salmon Foundation to commission an independent scientific review of run-of-river hydroelectric projects, with a specific focus on their potential impact on salmonids, including various species of salmon and trout. As a leading independent power producer in British Columbia, Innergex actively participated in this study, sharing extensive monitoring information from most of its 13 run-of-river hydro facilities in British Columbia, volunteering time, and providing financial support indirectly through CEBC. Matt Kennedy, Innergex’s Vice President – Environment, Western Region and a Registered Professional Biologist, represented the industry on the advisory council composed of environmental non-governmental organizations, provincial and federal government representatives, academics, and run-of-river hydro developers. The results of this independent review point to limited evidence of any significant impact on salmonids from run-of-river hydroelectric facilities, and provide a strong basis for continued evaluation, collaboration and accountability on the part of independent power producers in British Columbia, in partnership with the BC government.

“It is important to point out that this is the first study of its kind in British Columbia and one of very few done anywhere. Taking a scientific approach to assessing the impact on salmonids is one that other jurisdictions should be able to learn from and, hopefully, emulate.”

Dr. Brian Riddell, President and CEO of the Pacific Salmon Foundation

The Chaudière-Appalaches Regional Environmental Council: supporting the implementation of sustainable development in the region

As a financial sponsor and board member of the Chaudière-Appalaches Regional Environmental Council, Innergex is supporting this organization’s efforts to implement sustainable development within the region. As owner and operator of two run-of-river hydroelectric facilities in the area (Chaudière and Montmagny), Innergex is actively involved in stakeholder consultations that include elected officials and forest management experts, as well as representatives from Quebec’s farmers’ union and local school boards.

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Suspension bridge at the Parc des Chutes-de-la-Chaudière in Quebec.

The regional environmental councils are active players in environmental protection and the promotion of sustainable development across Quebec. Collectively, they are recognized as the government’s main counterpart on environmental issues and intervene in most major cases: wetlands and protected areas, agriculture, biodiversity, climate change, sustainable development, the protection of water and lakes, energy, forestry, residual waste, mines, transportation, and land use planning.

“Recognized for its expertise in renewable energy development, Innergex has, over the years, demonstrated its ability to integrate communities’ expectations and maximize local economic benefits, while also demonstrating a constant concern for the quality of the environment.”

Guy Lessard, President of the Chaudière-Appalaches Regional Environmental Council