The development and construction of utility-scale renewable energy plants may include environmental impacts such as the degradation of habitats, reduction of resource availability and transformation of habitats, which can affect biodiversity. Scatec works to implement mitigation measures to minimise impacts and restore biodiversity.
Scatec acknowledges that there is an ongoing global biodiversity crisis and that all businesses must work to minimise their negative biodiversity impacts and maximise positive impacts. Utility scale renewable power plants are essential to address the climate crisis but do require large amounts of land to capture energy from the sun, wind and rain which impacts local nature. Scatec owns and operates a variety of renewable energy technologies that have differing potential impacts.See more
Scatec works to identify relevant impacts, avoid sensitive areas where possible and implement mitigation measures to minimise impacts and restore biodiversity. We follow the precautionary principle and carry out studies such as Environmental and Social Due Diligence (ESDD) or Environmental and Social Impact Assessments (ESIA) for all projects, which may include assessing direct, indirect and cumulative impacts where relevant, to identify potential risks and mitigation measures before development.
We will not develop projects in areas where a threat to critically endangered species cannot be mitigated. We follow the mitigation hierarchy for negative impacts; avoid, minimise, restore and finally offset residual negative impacts. We aim to achieve net gain for critical habitat and no net loss in natural habitat in all our projects. Where we are not able to sufficiently mitigate impacts, we ensure additional biodiversity offsets of high quality to compensate for potential biodiversity losses.
We aim to avoid developments in forests and will not develop projects that negatively impact Intact Forest Landscapes. If we develop projects in areas where there are direct impacts upon forests, we aim to restore or plant an appropriate replacement forest equivalent to the area of forest impacted. We restore sites at end of life to ensure a comparable or better ecosystem state than before development.
During project development we use third party specialists to assess and mitigate biodiversity risk while adhering to strict requirements of the IFC Performance Standards and the Equator Principles. We review findings and incorporate mitigation measures into project environmental and social management plans (ESAP).
For all our projects, land transformation is minimised and land use optimised to lessen impact on fauna and flora. Relevant measures during construction and operations include, among other things, fencing off storage areas, keeping lighting at a minimum and allowing the free movement (migration) of small animals by maintaining migration corridors underneath perimeter fences.
GRI 304-1: Operational sites owned, leased, managed in, or adjacent to, protected areas and areas of high biodiversity value outside protected areas
We map protected area proximity during project development and assess all operational Scatec operated power plant proximity to protected areas within 10km. We lease and manage the land our projects are constructed and operated on. Many of our power plants are in proximity to protected areas, but only one is partially within a protected area. The biodiversity impact on protected areas is assessed during project development and for established plants is low to very low.
|Country||Plant name||Area affected (hectares)||Position related to protected area||Distance to protected area (km)||Description|
|Brazil||Mendubim||1,050||Outside||3||Mendubim project is roughly 3km from Floresta Nacional De Acu (IUCN category VI).|
|Czech Republic||Hrusovany||8||Outside||10||Adjacent to the Travni Dvur protected area (IUCN category IV). There are also multiple protected areas within a 10km radius.|
|Czech Republic||Mramotice||6||Outside||10||3km from Lom U Zerutek protected area (IUCN category IV). There are also multiple protected areas within a 10km radius.|
|Czech Republic||Sulkov||22||Outside||10||2km from Novy Rybnik protected area (IUCN category IV). Also, multiple small, protected areas within a 10km radius.|
|Czech Republic||Svitavy||6||Outside||10||5km from Hrebecovsky Les protected area (IUCN category IV). Also, multiple other protected areas within a 10km radius.|
|Honduras||Agua Fria||63||2||2km away from Bahia de Chismuyo, a RAMSAR 1000 habitat/species management area (IUCN category IV), a mangrove and tropical ecosystem and resting places for migratory and resident birds. Also, 8km from San Lorenzo species management area (IUCN category IV).|
|Honduras||Los Prados||133||Outside||1.4||1.4 km away from EI Jicarito and 6km from San Bernard, both RAMSAR 1000 habitat/species management areas, a mangrove and tropical ecosystem and resting places for migratory and resident birds.|
|Malaysia||Merchang (Quantum)||81||Outside||1||1km from Rantua Abang fisheries protected area (IUCN category IV) and 3km from Jambu Bongkok Forest reserve (IUCN category IV). Site consists of modified and natural habitats with wetlands west of the site.|
|Pakistan||Sukkur||287||Outside||3||3km from Nara Desert (IUCN category IV) site. Site is mostly sandy plains with limited vegetation.|
|South Africa||Linde||108||Outside||The site is outside protected areas, namely Hanover Aardvark nature reserve and Karoo Gariep Nature reserve.|
|Ukraine||Progressovka||203||Within||4||Plant next to an estuary and partially within Tyligulskyi Lyman Emerald Network area of special conservation interest. Boarders Kosa Strilka (IUCN category IV). 4km from Petrivs'kly IV habitat and species protected area.|
|Ukraine||Chigirin||82||Outside||Borders Kremenchutske reservoir (Emerald Network). Brownfield site, originally planned as the site of a nuclear power plant.|
|Ukraine||Boguslav||75||Outside||1||1km from the Ros River valley (Emerald Network). Site previously a mix of agricultural land and area designated for energy production.|
|Ukraine||Rengy (Mykolaivs'ka projects)||63||Outside||8||Afanasiivka site is adjacent to Lower inhulets river valley (Emerald network). Taborivka site is 8km from Nyzhnie Pobuzhzhia (Emerald Network). Sites were greenfield sites with relatively poor soils used for grazing previously.|
|Ukraine||Kamianka||50||Outside||8||8km from Kholodnyi Yar (Emerald network). The project is located on a brownfield site surrounded by the town.|
|Vietnam||Dam Nai||760||Outside||4||4km from Nui Chua National Park (IUCN category II). Plant is on agricultural land and is thus a dual use area due to the small footprint of each wind turbine.|
GRI 304-2: Significant impacts of activities, products and services on biodiversity
Scatec’s key potential biodiversity impacts by technology are summarised below:
Scatec’s projects have varying impacts on biodiversity depending on their size and location. Many of our projects are built on brownfield sites or low-grade farmland with limited habitat impacts. These solar power plant developments can potentially have had a positive impact for some species that can re-establish, as the land is used less intensively than when farmed. Most of our projects are built, at least partially, on greenfield land often in wilderness areas which can result in reductions in biodiversity at the project site. Impacts will occur from construction through to decommissioning, a period of 20-30 years for solar and wind projects and 30 years or more for hydropower projects. Most negative impacts are reversible as we actively work to avoid and mitigate irreversible impacts during the project design phase. Scatec also has an obligation under the Equator Principles to restore sites at end of life to their previous state or better.
GRI 304-4: Sites red list and national conservation list species are identified in the Environmental and Social Impact Assessments (ESIA) or Environmental and Social Due Diligences (ESDD)
Biodiversity assessment during project planning includes mapping species that occupy or are near to the site that will be developed. The mapping methodology and types of assessments vary depending on the biodiversity risk. This is influenced by technology, habitat affected, proximity of known endangered species and size of the project. Results across power plants therefore can be used as an indication of the number of species potentially impacted but may not reflect actual species affected.
For example, some lower risk projects will have desktop assessments whilst higher risk projects such as solar plants in biodiverse areas and hydropower or wind projects will have on the ground surveys to identify actual species present. For wind projects, specialist third party assessments are carried out for birds and bats, whilst for hydropower it may be fish, mammals, and plants.
Critically endangered species identified include:
1,048 IUCN Red List species of least concern with habitats in areas are identified in ESIAs or ESDDs. Projects that share an ESIA or species assessment due to close geographical proximity are not included in the total to avoid double counting.
During 2022, Scatec’s E&S team registered 6,110 animals from 76 different species with the support of one veterinarian, ten biologists and 25 Fauna Rescue team assistants.See more
Biodiversity data is gathered during desktop studies, E&S baseline studies, site visits, etc. and captured in formal Environmental and Social Impact Assessments (ESIA) or Environmental and Social Due Diligences (ESDD). Scatec, our project partners or external specialists will complete these studies and assessments (preparer of the data). Data is reviewed by Scatec’s environmental and social (E&S) team. Third party specialists report findings and mitigation measures are incorporated into project Environmental and Social Management Plans (ESAPs). The E&S team in collaboration with the operations and maintenance (O&M) team is responsible for implementing the measures on each project (where applicable).
Information gathered and captured include the number species ranging from critically endangered to near threatened and vulnerable species, as well as the species of least concern, as per the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) definitions. In addition, our projects’ location (in kilometres) in proximity to protected areas and IUCN or other protected status designated areas. Further details, such as size of the project (in hectares), are disclosed for projects adjacent to, or within such protected areas.