Wind Energy Centre Environmental Commissioner

Protecting Species during Development of Renewable Energy Centre


    Henvey Inlet First Nation


    Henvey Inlet, Ontario

Key Elements

    Peer review of environmental assessment commitments Botanical and wildlife surveys
  • Permit compliance inspections
  • Botanical and wildlife surveys
  • Community engagement
  • Regulatory support for First Nation governance
  • Adaptive management planning

Renewable energy offers an alternative to carbon-based energy sources in the fight against climate change, but still has impacts on the environment that need to be effectively managed. The 300 MW Henvey Inlet Wind Energy Centre was developed under Henvey Inlet First Nation (HIFN) Land Laws including rigorous environmental protection measures for each project phase.

GEI has served as the Environmental Commissioner for HIFN since 2015. We are responsible for the implementation HIFN’s Environmental Land Laws as they relate to the construction, operation and decommissioning of the wind energy centre. During construction, potential impacts to “at-risk” reptiles and their habitat required the implementation of novel mitigation to avoid and minimize impacts.

With the project in operations since late 2019, permit compliance is focused on operational impacts to avian species, road impacts to reptiles, habitat restoration and ecological offsets. Our wildlife, botanical and aquatic specialists support Henvey Inlet Abatement Officers to confirm and enforce permit compliance.

Key tasks include:

  • Environmental Assessment technical peer review
  • Conducting compliance inspections and reviewing monitoring reports to confirm permit compliance
  • Conducting follow-up ecological field studies to assess project impacts
  • Identifying and implementing adaptive management measures to address impacts to species at risk

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