environmental caresocial responsibility . environmental care
Due to the civilisation progress today the people cannot live without energy anymore. It is, however, possible to burden the environment in the least possible amount. The company Soške elektrarne is very well aware of that. The company Soške elektrarne does care for the environment and exploits thus the water power of the Soča River and its subsidiary streams in a responsible way, but it also
- Puts into effect its environmental policy
- Consistently respects the ecologically acceptable discharge
- Performs the monitoring of the environmental parameters
- Performs a regular maintenance of the accumulation basins (removal of the gravel)
- Sets-up a sustainable water infrastructure
REALISATION OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY
The world along the Soča River and its subsidiary streams is from the biotic point of view extremely heterogeneous. One of the missions of the company Soške elektrarne is therefore the production of electric energy in synergy with the natural environment. The company, in order to fulfil its commitment to the realization of the principles of a sustainable development and unobtrusive inclusion of the power supply into the natural beauties of the world around the Soča River, respects the international environmental standards, concessive duties and the systems of the environmental protection management.
The company has thus obtained a number of international environmental certificates:
- ISO 14001 Environmental Protection Management Certificate
- TŰV Certificate for the production of electric energy from water resources
In the case of all new intervention into the environment the company Soške elektrarne elaborates in compliance with the requests of the legislator, and prior to the construction beginning of the facility, a feasibility study on the environmental impacts. Thus the company finds out what impact – in case it decided for a construction – the new facility would have on the environment.
With regular environmental surveys the impact of the operation of the hydro power plant on the environment is determined, and based on the results in case of necessity the compny takes measures in order to reduce the environmental impact to the minimum.
The environmental programmes define the activities and responsibilities in the sphere of the environmental protection.
CONSISTENT RESPECT OF THE ECOLOGICALLY ACCEPTABLE DISCHARGE
The Ecologically acceptable discharge is the quantity and quality of water which ensures the preservation of the ecological balance in the water and next to it. It ensures that the eco system is preserved in its original natural riverbed, i.e. in the riverbed between the water intake and the water release out of the hydro power plant, in spite of the fact that a certain amount of water is taken for the necessities of the hydro power plant.
Four parameters to determine the ecologically acceptable discharge value
The procedure for the determination of the ecologically acceptable discharge value on a certain section of the water course is the following:
1. analysis of the existent condition of the water course section, where the average depth of the water course, the substratum, the type of habitat and the shading of the riverbed are monitored.
2. analysis of the hydrological characteristics of the water course, where the water discharge and speed of the water flow are monitored, the hydrological parameters and the data on the water levels are analized and where the catchment and the medium-small and medium water course discharge on the discussed section are determined;
3. research of the physico-chemical parameters, i.e. the water temperature, the specific electric conductibility, the oxygen concentration, the oxygen satiation and the pH value;
4. ichthyological evaluation, where all the fish species living in the discussed section of the water course are catalogued.
When all the four parameters are determined it is possible to ecologically evaluate the water course section and to determine the ecologically acceptable discharge value. The ecologically acceptable discharge values are, however, not constant. In different sections of the same water course and in single periods of the year these may be different.
MONITORING OF ENVIRONMENTAL PARAMETERS
The Monitoring of the environmental parameters consists in the monitoring of the environmental parameters which are influenced by the operation of the hydro power plant. The purpose of the monitoring is to recognize, to monitor and to assess the trends which originated due to the operation of the hydro power plant. The monitoring results are used for the determination of the impacts on the environment and for the determination of the measures for the prevention of dangerous and harmful phenomena to the environment. The results on the condition of the environment are being, in compliance with the legislation, periodically reported to the competent institutions.
The company Soške elektrarne performs:
- regular operating monitoring: during the regular operating of the hydro power plant the key environmental parameters, e.g. condition of the acquatic and waterside flora and fauna, the ecologically acceptable discharge, the dynamic of the river bottom and the erosion of the embankments as well as the seismological condition are being measured.
- monitoring at the construction of the new facilities, where the following is being monitored:
2. the condition during the construction of the facility,
3. the condition in a certain period beginning from the operating start.
At the moment such a monitoring is being performed by the company Soške elektrarne at the construction site of the Pumping – Storage HPP Avče.
MAINTENANCE OF THE ACCUMULATION BASINS – REMOVAL OF THE DRIFT MATERIAL AND DEBRIS
The company Soške elektrarne takes care of the regular removal of the drift material and debris present in the accumulation basins. Their regular maintenance ensures the safety in case of floods and high waters, it protects the acquatic and waterside land and enlarges the useful volume of the basins, enabling thus an optimum exploitation of the water potential for the production of electrical energy.
A Concession contract is signed between the company Soške elektrarne and the Republic of Slovenia for the maintenance of the accumulation basins and the regular removal of the drift material and debris.
With the regular removal of the drift material and debris and with the other maintenance works in the accumulation basins the company Soške elektrarne:
- contributes to a higher antiflood protection of the Soča River Valley in case of high waters (lowering of the gravel bottom of the riverbed or of the accumulation lake),
- protects the acquatic and waterside land (lower flow speed and erosion of the embankments),
- enlarges the useful volume of the basins (bigger power at disposal and a better electric energy production).
SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENT OF THE WATER INFRASTRUCTURE
In order to preserve the natural beauty of the Soča River the company Soške elektrarne manages the water infrastructure also during the construction of new facilities. The company’s whole acting is oriented towards finding a solution for an optimum synergy between the power supply and the nature.