Nalcor Energy > Safety & Environment > Environment

Nalcor Energy is a leader in the development of Newfoundland and Labrador’s energy resources and has a corporate-wide framework outlining innovative, achievable answers for the province’s long-term environmental sustainability.

Vegetation Management at Nalcor Energy

Vegetation growth along our power lines and access roads is a safety concern to both transmission line crews and the public. When trees grow too close or fall into power lines, it can cause public safety risks such as contact with high voltage power lines and fire, along with power outages. Trees can also restrict access to transmission lines and limit a crew’s ability to complete inspections, routine maintenance, and restore power outages.

With more than 1,800km of transmission lines recently constructed throughout the province for the Muskrat Falls Project, in addition to existing transmission lines in Churchill Falls, a Vegetation Management Program (VMP) is essential to ensure safe access and operation of our electrical system.

With this in mind, we have developed and implemented a VMP that utilizes a variety of innovative, cost-effective and environmentally-sound management techniques. Several treatments are employed each year including manual brush clearing, mechanical mulching and the selective application of herbicides.

For public safety, best practice is to always keep a safe distance from transmission lines and electrical facilities. However, should you find yourself on a transmission line right-of-way, we encourage you to use extreme caution. These areas are not public roads and hazards exist such as guy wires, uneven terrain, and live wires.

Future Lower Churchill Project
The recent Lower Churchill agreement is a major part of Newfoundland and Labrador’s strategy to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from increased electricity demand and to offset GHG emissions from other sources. Once in operation, the Project should displace more than 16 megatonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually – the equivalent to taking 3.2 million vehicles off the road each year.

Alternative Energy
Wind Projects Provide Green Energy to Island Consumers
In 2009, in an effort to reduce emissions from burning fossil fuels, Hydro increased its renewable generation. Hydro has power purchase agreements for 54 megawatts of clean, renewable wind energy. Newfoundland’s two wind projects produced 183,252 megawatt hours, generating enough green energy in 2010 to power over 12,300 homes – the equivalent to burning 291,000 barrels of oil at the Holyrood thermal plant.

Wind-Hydrogen-Diesel Energy Project

In its efforts to reduce reliance on fuel-fired generation, Nalcor has built one of the first projects in the world to integrate generation from wind, hydrogen, and diesel in an isolated electricity system. The Wind-Hydrogen-Diesel Energy Project in Ramea is a research and development project that uses renewable energy sources to supplement the diesel requirements of the island community.

Energy Efficiency and Conservation
takeCHARGE Energy Conservation Program
In 2008, Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro in partnership with Newfoundland Power launched a joint initiative – takeCHARGE. takeCHARGE is aimed at providing Newfoundlanders and Labradorians with information, tools, and rebate programs to assist them in using energy wisely.

Industrial Energy Efficiency Program
Hydro also launched its Industrial Energy Efficiency Program (IEEP) in 2010, providing a customized approach to energy savings for industrial customers. Baseline energy end-use audits were conducted to assist industrial customers in identifying opportunities for capital projects and employee engagement opportunities. The results of these audits indicate priority areas for electricity efficiency for these customers and are useful in Hydro’s validation of savings from completed projects. The IEEP also provides funding for training and employee awareness projects to create the culture of conservation within the employee base and encourage innovation on conservation and efficiency.

Committed to Environmental Standards – ISO 14001
ISO 14001 Certified Environmental Management Systems (EMS) provides a framework for an organization’s environmental responsibilities and Nalcor is proud to have it as an integral component of the organization’s business operations. Nalcor’s EMS governs the environmental activities of its electricity businesses, Hydro and Churchill Falls – both are ISO 14001 certified.

Species and Habitat Diversity
Raptor rescue
Nalcor has an extensive protection program for raptors and other birds of prey nesting on our transmission and distribution line structures. There are over a hundred nests on structures in Labrador and a number on the Island. Nalcor surveys the status of these each year and plans structure maintenance programs to avoid disturbance of the birds during the critical egg development stage. We have also successfully relocated a number of nests.

Salmon safely relocated on Exploits River
While Nalcor Energy manages and operates the hydroelectric facilities on the Exploits River, its employees also continue efforts to preserve the River’s adult Atlantic salmon run. Barriers are in place to prevent the salmon from entering the power generation turbines once they reach the power canal. Without this assistance, they can be delayed in their migration downstream. In 2010, Nalcor employees safely relocated over 7,000 adult salmon from the Grand Falls hydroelectric power canal and the adult incoming run was in the range of 47,000. This success story is well known in the international scientific community.

For detailed information on Nalcor’s environmental initiatives and performance please view our Environmental Performance Reports.