Several aspects of the development process help us to design projects to operate sustainably over the long term. We use computer programs to begin identifying a potential project location with modeled resources in a given area, and then overlay information about sensitive areas, such as wetlands, wildlife habitat, the presence of any threatened or endangered plant or animal species, local land use, and cultural sensitivities.
The risk assessment process is informed by relevant regulations and voluntary industry guidelines and allows our team to microsite wind turbines and/or solar panels in a way that minimizes disturbance to the local environment.
Once a proposed project has taken shape, we conduct field surveys of potentially sensitive areas to visually confirm or correct information that shaped the project’s design. Through this fieldwork, we adjust our project layout to be responsible to sensitive resources from the very beginning of the development process.
We also begin the environmental permitting process, which can be extremely demanding. We work with the relevant agencies to obtain permissions needed to construct and operate, and we consult with experts to guide us in meeting or exceeding industry best practices.
The environmental aspects of the construction process are largely governed by laws and regulations, with which we always seek to fully comply. Pattern Development designs construction plans to maximize efficiency and thereby minimize the amount of fuel and material we use, as well as the amount of waste produced on-site.
We employ sound water management practices to protect local ecosystems, such as stormwater prevention plans and avoiding unauthorized water discharges. In addition, construction crew members complete thorough training with regards to cultural and natural resources, and we have a third-party environmental monitor on-site during construction. If an unexpected plant, animal, or cultural discovery is made, work in the location is adjusted to allow the situation to be properly assessed.
Like Pattern Development, Pattern Energy strives to operate our facilities with care and concern for the local environment. The operation of our facilities is guided by an Environmental Management System that sets forth our environmental values and procedures, and we have a system for monitoring compliance with regulations, requirements, and permits.
Where applicable, we try to offset or mitigate any unfavorable impacts to threatened or endangered species, and we participate actively in industry efforts to develop and improve environmental best practices.